The Ten-Year Rule: A Decade-by-Decade Guide to Reevaluating Your Life

I’m back with something a little different but incredibly impactful.

I recently read this eye-opening piece on Psychology Today about the concept of reevaluating your life every ten years—aptly dubbed as the “Ten-Year Rule.”

It got me thinking. In a world where we’re often hyper-focused on the immediate goals, how often do we stop and take a look at the grand scheme of things?

I know that I rarely do. Which, if I’m being honest, worried me. So I dove right into the article.

The Rationale Behind the Ten-Year Rule

The article breaks down the importance of taking a step back every decade to reflect on your life’s journey. This isn’t about having a midlife or quarter-life crisis, mind you. It’s about conscious reevaluation and strategic planning. Think of it as your personal “system reboot.”

A book that delves deeper into this realm is “The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter—And Howto Make the Most of Them Now” by Meg Jay.

Why Every Decade?

Well, here’s the kicker. The article points out that we grow and change significantly every ten years. Your values, interests, and life circumstances can dramatically shift. So the goals and priorities you had ten years ago might not align with your current self. And if you don’t stop to reassess, you could end up in a lifelong cycle of chasing obsolete dreams.

That’s why books like “The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss are so impactful—they challenge you to rethink your life goals and career aspirations.

Navigating the Decades

In your 20s, you might be all about exploration and trying new things. Fast forward to your 40s, and you could be more focused on long-term security and perhaps even legacy building. The article suggests taking stock and planning for the following decade, which I think is brilliant. If you’re in your 50s, for example, and haven’t thought about your 60s, it’s time to get on that. To be honest, this freaked me out a little bit. I’m currently 48, and to really think about my 50’s or even 60’s had me reeling.

Want to age wisely? Check out “The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest”.

The Ebb and Flow of Life

If you’re like me, you’re probably driven by purpose and continuous growth. We need to remember that growth isn’t always vertical; it’s often cyclical. It comes in ebbs and flows, and these decade-long cycles provide us with opportunities to recalibrate our lives in sync with our evolving selves.

Final Thoughts

We’re all guilty of getting lost in the hustle of day to day life and forgetting the bigger picture. The Ten-Year Rule reminds us that life is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a fascinating paradigm shift and a valuable exercise to check in with yourself at these significant milestones.

So, as you move forward, don’t just think about what’s happening next year; think about the next decade. Start planning, start reevaluating, and most importantly, start living in tune with your evolving self.

Keep up the good work,