Most of us who wish to exact change in our lives think that it somehow requires us to become no-nonsense, no-frills, anti-pleasure or even self-punishing. This is not the case. While change of any type will require a new kind of thinking and some serious self-discipline, it is important to remember that indulgence and frivolity can and should play a role.
Consider the humble cocoa bean. It is one of my favorite items in God's creation and I don't often go more than a day without a morsel of chocolate. My almost-nightly ritual includes dinner, then a square of 70% cocoa chocolate. Just one (usually) - enough to sate my inner chocolate beast. I'm still down on the scale, exercising, feeling healthier and enjoying my little bitter-velvety splurge.
What about coffee? Some people swear it off altogether, even though they enjoy it. Why not a cup of decaf, or a half-caf, or even a small regular? And wine, and bacon and all those fine things. Enjoy a bit rather than swearing off all things you love.
Of course I talk about food first, but food is not the only place necessary frivolity resides. What about an hour or two of brain-candy television? A window-shopping trip to someplace expensive? An afternoon dessert date with an old friend? All permissible and beneficial. You may feel these seem to oppose my desire to use my time more wisely, alas, they are integral to being successful in any change you wish to exact in your life. If all other time is well-managed, these pleasures can fit into the busiest of schedules.
A little pleasure, frivolity, indulgence, whatever you will, are so important because they give you pause in a world that moves at what seems light speed. We all need pause. Selah. A moment of breath to refocus our minds and hearts.
Now go get some chocolate. And savor just 1 square.