I also recommended this strategy to another client, whom I'll call Al. Al was feeling low after a difficult break-up, and was struggling to keep his poise. He embraced the 'Al-treats' Challenge, and we checked in on how this was going during our weekly coaching conversations. Al was sounding more upbeat, and was enjoying describing for me the outings and experiences he had created for himself. Then, three or four weeks after Al had began this new 'regime', he sounded a bit embarrassed as he said, "I think I've got used to my treats, they no longer feel so exciting, and I'm a bit sad about that."
I had to apologise to Al for laughing, explaining that this was a FANTASTIC development! It meant that having a treat a day had been incorporated into his idea of how he lived, so that it now felt normal.
He still sounded perplexed - what to do now? Now, came my reply, is the time to up the ante. What are the treats that would feel exciting from this new position? What are the things that would push the boat out some more? Now that he had got accustomed / habituated to a certain level of enjoyment, it was time to increase the dosage, so-to-speak.
Al's reply might sound familiar to you - his voice resonated with fear. He had thought of picking up going out dancing again (something he used to enjoy while studying at University), but had found the prospect a bit daunting. You, too, might have items on your list that you would dearly love to experience, yet which feel a bit much to reach out for.
Happily for Al, after we worked through what his concerns and reservations were around going dancing, he committing to give it a whirl. No prizes for guessing how excited he sounded at our next session, because not only had he dared himself to go there, he had had a good time!