5 Reflections from my Decade Review

Every year during the last week of December, I do a year-end review. You can learn more about my process for that here. In May, I turned 30 and decided to do a decade review. I reviewed all of my year-end reviews from the last decade of my life. It was a great experience. In fact, I will be recording a two-part podcast of the top lessons I learned in my twenties that will be published in August and September of this year. Today, I simply want to share with you a few things I learned from the actual practice of reviewing a decade of my life. Here we go:


1.) I’m Extremely Glad that I Journal – I started journaling in 2004. You can learn how I journal here. It’s been said that a journal is an intimate record of the journey the Lord and I are traveling on. I love that at any point in time I can pick up a journal from any year and start to read about what my life was like that year, the memories I made, what I was learning, and what I was doing. If you don’t journal, I want to encourage you to start today.

2.) Year-End Reviews are Important – I’ve been doing year-end reviews since 2004. I actually type up a report of my year-end review so I can easily browse each year of my life. If you’re unfamiliar with a year-end review, I share my process for doing one here. It was so cool to go through a decades worth of year-end reviews to see what happened in my life over the course of a decade. I’m grateful for this practice.

[shareable text=”Tweet this!”]’Experience isn’t the best teacher, evaluated experience is.’ -John C. Maxwell [/shareable]

3.) You can Grow a lot in a Decade – I remember finishing up my first year of interning at our church in 2004. I asked my Pastor how he does everything he does. He said to me, “Doug, think back to the past year, have you grown a lot?” I replied, “Oh man! I’ve grown a ton over the last year.” He said, “I’ve been doing that for the past 25 years. Just keep growing everyday.” At that moment, I decided that I would do everything I could do grow on a daily basis. It was amazing to see how far I’ve come in ten years. Think about where you were five to ten years ago. How much have you grown? Think of how far you can go in the next five to ten years!

4.) God is Always Doing More than You Think He is – One of the coolest parts about looking back on the last decade is to see how faithful God is. There were so many times where I didn’t know how things were going to work out or why I was going through certain things, however looking back I can see God’s hand all throughout my life. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

It does not say God works some things to work together for good, it says ALL things. While it’s easy to see that this verse is true while looking back, it also provides confidence that whatever I’m going through now or in the future will have the same outcome.

5.) A Decade went by so Fast – I can’t believe I’m 30 years old! Seriously. Ten years went by so fast. As I reviewed the last ten years of my life, I had to ask myself the following questions:

  • How did I use my twenties?
  • Am I proud of how I used them?
  • Did I make good choices?
  • Did I set myself up well for my thirties?

I’ll answer a lot of these questions in the podcast episodes I am recording. However, I’ll conclude with this: Mae West said, “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”

[shareable text=”Tweet this!”]’You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.’ -Mae West[/shareable]

I will never get to live my twenties over again. While my twenties went by extremely fast, I know my thirties, forties, and fifties will go by even faster. Knowing this helps me to focus and be extremely intentional about living my life on purpose. If this post does nothing else for you, I pray that it challenges you to do the same. 

Thoughts? Leave a comment below!

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