About the Book

As a transformative new approach to decision-making, 10-10-10 is a tool for reclaiming your life. The process is clear, straightforward, and transparent. All it takes to begin are three simple questions: When faced with a complex dilemma, stop and ask, "What will the consequences of my options be in 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years?" Yet the outcomes are illuminating, and seldom predictable.

Sound simple? Not quite. Drawing 10-10-10 moments from her own life and the lives of others, Welch provides the tools to tease apart our deepest goals and values, candidly face our fears and dreams, and rid ourselves of angst, frustration and regret.

10-10-10’s applicability is uniquely broad. From college students to busy mothers to senior business executives, from artists to government administrators to entrepreneurs, 10-10-10 has shown its effectiveness in decisions large and small, routine and radical, changing lives for the better at home, in love, at work, and in friendship.

Readers of O magazine discovered this pragmatic and innovative idea when Suzy Welch first introduced it in her regular column. Now, in this immensely useful and revelatory book, she fully explains the power of 10-10-10, a transformative idea that can replace chaos with consistency, guilt with joy, and confusion with clarity.

Suzy Welch 10-10-10

What's Inside

How 10-10-10 applies to:
  • - Love
  • - Work
  • - Parenting
  • - Friendship
  • - Faith

10-10-10 in Action

  • suzy

    10-10-10 in Action

    Suzy speaks about how she came up with 10-10-10 as a working mother at the O-You conference in Miami.

    Suzy has used 10-10-10 to solve many family and work-related crises

  • antoine

    10-10-10 in Action


    Antoine Jefferson put 10-10-10 to use at his job in one of Pennsylvania's busiest welfare offices.

    "For years I toiled about trying to make decisions and stick to them. But I struggled to find focus and bring about the change that I believed I was capable of.

    Like other boys my age in the inner-city, I spent my days doing whatever I pleased. All that soon backfired and I was court-ordered into the state’s foster care system to correct my behavior. The transition wasn’t an easy one; foster home to foster home. Being placed in a intuitional educational center for children with mental and behavior problems didn’t help the cause, as I wasn’t in either category. I was just a shy kid who realized I was gay and I didn’t know what to do or who to be.

    The time passed and I bounced around here and there. One day I looked up and I was an 18 year-old man. No job, no education, no money, no nothing.

    Like an unspoken tradition amongst families like mine, I made my way to the county Welfare Office and applied for benefits. It wasn’t much, but they did offer secondary education and training programs. So I took advantage of them as often as I could.

    It took a few years and then, at age 24, I found my calling -- or at least part of it. I took a internship at a City Health Center as a Clerical Assistant. From day one, I was thrust onto the front lines at the center working directly with the public and I loved it. I saw myself in the very people I was helping.

    I still longed for something more. Then one day, it happened. I picked up a copy of O, the Oprah magazine and mid-way through was an article called 10-10-10. I read it and re-read it until I got it.

    10-10-10 was the key to an unknown treasure inside me. I realized my lack of a plan when making decisions had resulted in many misguided attempts at getting it right. So, I decided from that day on to use the 10-10-10 approach to tackle situations I encountered -- everything from simple everyday choices to life altering ones.

    I used 10-10-10 as the deciding factor when taking a job with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in a welfare office. My free-spirited nature and optimistic attitude took a major hit when juxtaposed against the displeased, cynical and lacksidascial attitudes of welfare caseworkers and the inept and uncaring administrators who disregarded the very people we served.

    Optimist that I am, I wrote a wonderful manifesto about the office attitudes and ideas on improving them. It went down like a bitter pill, but I’d done it and there was no turning back. It turned out to be the best career-changing choice I’ve ever made as it showed me who I was and what I was unwilling to stand by and be a part of.

    The setup of 10-10-10 is easy: you put a situation before you, break it down into three simple steps for a timeline; using the timeline as a guide, envision the results of the choices you make and their potential outcomes to make an informed, balanced, well thought-out course of action.

    And then you put it in motion, one step at a time."

    Antoine used 10-10-10 to improve his workplace in a Philadelphia welfare office

  • kim

    10-10-10 in Action


    Kimberly Smith-Martinez, a psychologist in San Antonio who just entered private practice, frequently used 10-10-10 in her previous work as a counselor in the juvenile justice system. The teenagers in Kim's care were typically in the throes of crisis, and many were on the verge of dropping out of society altogether. To help them sort through the potential outcomes of their choices, Kim would take the 10-10-10 process and make it graphic. Sitting with each young client, she would draw a 3-by-2 grid. Along the top, above each column, she would write: 10 days, 10 months, and 10 years. Along the side, she would label one row "Pros" and the other "Cons," and then she and her client would work through the current conflict, cataloguing its consequences.

    "My kids don't ever look forward. But 10-10-10 gives them a little glimpse of something they usually don't see -- themselves in the future," she says. "It's not all gut, gut, gut."

    You can visit Kim's blog here.

    Kimberly uses 10-10-10 to counsel youth