Streak Stories

3,000 Days with Peter Skirving

Introducing Streak Stories, a new series that celebrates Day One journalers and their recent milestone of consecutive days of journaling. Each interview features questions about how they built their journaling habit and their best tips for building a long streak. We also explore what they’ve learned from keeping a journal.

Peter Skirving

Peter Skirving hasn’t missed a single day of journaling in over eight years.

We sat down with Peter to explore how he reached his 3000-day streak and what he has learned in the process of keeping a journal.

Peter lives in Queensland, Australia, in a leafy suburb called Sinnamon Park to the west of the city. After a 53-year career in insurance, Peter retired in 2014.

How long have you been keeping a journal?

During most of those years in insurance, most certainly over the last 30 years, I was in the habit of “journaling” – keeping a written record of each & every phone call or other discussions in a “Day Book.” I didn’t keep any personal diaries until after I retired.

My wife, Teresa, & I set on a 44-day trip to the UK & France in 2014. I felt it wise to keep a diary on this “one in a lifetime” trip so I carefully researched the Internet for diaries, finally settling on Day One. The first entry in my Day One Journal includes a photo of the plane that took us out of Australia in July 2014. The rest is history, and today was my 3,023rd day (streak) of entries in Day One, an entry for every day since that takeoff in 2014.

What makes journaling important to you? 

Using Day One is important for me as I find it to be a regimen that is good for the mind but also is a lot of fun.

What do you usually journal about?

My daily entries mainly record things that occurred the day prior. This is not unlike those made on each of the first 44 days when we were out of Australia. My practice then was to journal every afternoon/evening when downloading photos from cameras. That habit has continued but I now make my entries, normally, every morning. 

Apart from things like “walked the dog”, other important occurrences are recorded. For example, I have been watching World Cup Cricket & World Cup Rugby League games recently & the scores have been noted with some short commentary on the standard of play, etc., etc. I might watch a movie on TV – that will be noted in Day One with a comment about it. It is not “everything” that gets recorded, only those things that occur to me at the time when making the entries.

When do you journal each day? (What is your journaling habit or routine like?)

I make entries into Day One every day. My earlier habits of keeping a “Day Book” have flowed into my journaling routine. When possible, I will include a photo in the entry. The pic does not have to be from my camera/phone, it could be a download from the digital newspaper I read every day or something sent to me by email.

What tips or advice would you give others who want to build a journaling habit/streak?

My advice for others who want to get into the habit of journaling is to have some “trigger” that takes you to Day One. My trigger is when I have finished reading the newspaper (digital) & completed the daily crosswords. This may be easier for retirees such as myself but everyone will have some activity that should provide a suitable trigger.

For me, the most beneficial thing for journaling is to be a touch typist. Back in 1992, I completed typing courses (on-line in those days) & this has helped me so much – let alone the ease it gives in making Day One entries. It staggers me just how many people cannot type (properly). Many General Practitioners, Specialists or other Occupations are seen there one-finger typing – all day long. 

What have you learned from keeping a journal for over 3000 days?

Having used Day One over the last 8 years, one thing I have learned is that I should have started many, many, years earlier. I now have a good record of events over the “recent” past but imagine if I had begun with diaries when I was 11 years old! I can put in a simple word search into Day One & get back details of what happened 5 years ago.  

What is your favorite thing about the Day One app? 

I really like Day One – everything about it. It is so easy to navigate through your journaling using a word search or “On This Day,” or just flicking through posts or using the Calendar. There are so many other nice things in Day One – recording the time & place for photos is just one.

How has Day One helped you journal consistently for 3000 days? 

While I don’t really need them, I do take the Day One daily prompts & this is certainly one way to keep on a journaling streak.

What else you would like to share about your journaling streak? 

My experience in gaining such a long streak of journaling in Day One has been very personal. It was a challenge in my early days of journaling but now it is a very satisfying achievement that continues on & on.

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