From the current series How to Plan Your Decade: Start the 2020s Well.
Last week I talked about why it is a good idea to plan your decade. A new decade is a type of temporal landmark which switches on our motivation. It makes sense to harness this in the cause of creating a great future, both for yourself and the good of others.
You can do this through what I call a decade review—an adaptation of the GTD concept of the yearly review.
I did an online webinar on this last week. For those who attended, it was great to talk with you and thanks for joining! If you didn’t attend, we’ll be making the recording available in our online store soon, along with the supporting documents and templates we provided. For those who don’t want to go to that level, or who want a short intro to accompany that, I’m going to cover a few highlights of how to plan your decade in the rest of this series.
So how do you carry out a decade review?
Interestingly, the first step is not what you would expect. Instead of simply looking forward, you first have to look back. Then the next two steps have you looking forward. Hence, the three steps are:
- Look back at the last ten years
- Cast vision for the next ten years
- Plan the next year
Here is a brief checklist on how to do the first step: learning from the last ten years.
Create a Document Called “2010s Decade Highlights”
As you go through the next two steps, add the key things to this document.
Review Your Reference Materials (if you have them)
- Review your knowledge journals (quick scan of all; if needed, maybe create as task to do over a few weeks)
- Review some notes you’ve taken on books, sermons, conferences, and so forth (if needed, also create as task to do over a few weeks)
- Review key checklists in your planning system if you have some
- Look over your bookshelves for great books you’ve overlooked!
Review Highlights from the Decade
- Review your life journals (focused on events and life experiences, as opposed to ideas–the journals in the previous step).
- Review your photos.
- Review your calendar for highlights. This can be one of the funnest things. You’ll recall great vacations, meaningful events, even memorable business trips and meetings.
- Review your completed tasks (goals, projects, next actions), if you keep a record of those.
Learn from the Previous Decade
- Journal briefly on the decade. You could do this by year, or considering the decade as a whole. Just write on the main things that stand out to you–describe some key events, challenges, and so forth.
- Reflect on what can be learned from the decade and journal on the top three things.
Finalize the “Decade Highlights” Document
Review what you have in it so far and ask: is there anything else I want to add? What else did we finish, handle, and experience that is not on here? Add that, and then this document is done.
Posts in this series:
- From How-To to When-To: Why to Plan Your Next Ten Years
- The Decade Review, Part 1: Learn from the Last Ten Years
- The Decade Review, Part 2: Set a Direction for Your Next Ten Years (forthcoming)
- The Great Opportunities Before Us: What’s Ahead for the 2020s? (forthcoming)