Learn to indulge more extravagantly

There are so many extra opportunities to indulge at this time of year.  As we’ve been talking about all month, the idea is not to completely avoid all the good things. But at the same time, if we indulge at every opportunity, it’s probably going to undermine our goals/progress.

Instead of trying to indulge less, learn to indulge more extravagantly.

Remember to tune into your entire sensory experience, not just the chewing and swallowing! Call to mind all of the pleasant memories that the sight of a special treat evokes for you. Remember times that you’ve enjoyed this treat in the past. Where were you? Who were you with?  Take a moment to enjoy the smell.  Let your mouth water a bit! Now, notice the way the aroma and texture contribute to your experience of the flavor.  Tune into the pleasure you get as that first bite hits your stomach.

Notice how your sensory experience is richest right before and during your first bites, and how it starts to fade as you continue to eat. When it’s no longer feeling special, stop. And then, take a moment to fully savor the experience you’ve just had. Instead of rushing through what feels like a guilty pleasure, claim it! Let it expand in time, space, and perception.  The more present you are with that experience, the more vivid, pleasurable, and satisfying the memory of it will be.

This holiday, I hope you will take the opportunity to have at least one peak treat experience. See how much more pleasure you can get when you choose your treats carefully and enjoy them fully.  And let this be your new holiday motto:

Only the good stuff. Just enough. Extravagantly enjoyed.