Do you ever take a meeting with yourself? 

At the risk of sounding weirder than usual, I believe that most people don’t spend enough time talking with themselves.  As a result, we may take too many actions without pre-planning or without fully researching our options.  The best way to get around that is to have regularly scheduled meetings with ourselves.

While I suspect that most people, whether they recognize it or not, usually hold a meeting inside their head when facing the possibility of making a major change involving a career or relationship or a move to another community, such internal meetings rarely take place when we think about smaller purchases, optional ways of spending our time, putting non-emergency items on our schedules, or reaching out to others whom we haven’t seen in a while.

This type of behavior can result in making decisions impulsively or “kicking the can” down the road until the decision is forced upon us by, for example, symptoms becoming too unbearable to avoid going to the doctor any longer or a subscription renewing automatically even though we meant to cancel it.

Many of us already are used to making daily “to do” lists.  The interpersonal meeting can be thought of as being an extension of such a list.  In my case, my meeting consists of a review of items that have accumulated in a pile on my desk (sort of my inbox without the box), as well as looking ahead on my calendar to see if there are items that require advanced preparation.

I try to schedule weekly meetings with myself, although I may schedule two meetings during weeks when I have a lot to discuss with myself.  The operative word is “schedule”.  I’ve found that meetings that I plan to have with myself but aren’t formally scheduled on my calendar turn out to be the equivalent of telling a professional colleague that, “We’ve got to meet sometime,” but then never get around to it because it isn’t scheduled.  Once you start holding meetings with yourself, you will get a pretty good idea of how long a typical meeting needs to last. 

If we are being honest with ourselves, we recognize that we are always talking to ourselves inside our head.  What I’m suggesting today is that we ensure that some of that self-talk should be purposeful and productive.

Ron Kaiser, Ph.D. Psychologist, Educator, Author, Podcaster

Ron Kaiser, Ph.D., is a positive health psychologist, coach, author, podcaster, educator, consultant, and speaker. He has been in practice for more than five decades, including 25 years as Director of Psychology at the world-famous Jefferson Headache Center at Thomas Jefferson University. As an innovative thought leader in the field, he has developed the concepts of THE MENTAL HEALTH GYM, GOAL-ACHIEVING PSYCHOTHERAPY (GAP), THE TYPE P PERSONALITY, and REJUVENAGING®.

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