Cookbooks and care plans are both very individual things.

I own quite a few cookbooks, and I’ve looked at many, many more. Most of the cookbooks I’ve seen, even the good ones, aren’t a good fit for me. Even cookbooks with well-written recipes may not match my skill level, or important ingredients would be pricey or hard to get, or I just don’t particularly want to cook eat the food?

Plans we make to maintain or improve our health are the same way. There are some basics, such as actually being healthy. You don’t want food plans that aren’t good for you or exercises likely to injure you. But our circumstances vary so much that plans have to fit us, or they just won’t work. A good example from my life is exercise. I’ve tried many things to increase the exercise I do, and most of them have failed. My strong distaste for changing clothes in a locker room make gyms impractical. I can’t make myself do calisthenics for more than a few days. Playing a competitive game like volleyball or basketball leaves me feeling inadequate and ashamed of my lack of athleticism, even just playing among friends.

In fact, the only physical activity I know that I enjoy doing is walking. So, a few years ago, I began walking to and from work each day: the round trip takes me about half an hour. That made for a good start, but the various goals I’ve set to go beyond that just haven’t gone anywhere.

If you’ve read other recent posts, you may know that this has changed for me. In recent months, some of my friends have been talking about a pedometer that syncs online. (I’m not naming it because the tool I chose isn’t the point here.) The ability to work towards both daily and cumulative goals appealed to the gamer in me, especially since it didn’t require manual logging. This particular gizmo has proved thus far to be very helpful for me, and I’m now waking between 60 and 90 minutes every day. I could accomplish the same thing with a cheap pedometer and a notebook … but I haven’t. That’s like a recipe that’s great in every way except that I just don’t want to cook the dish it describes.

So, having found one plan that’s working for me right now, I’m looking for the next step. I want to establish a short daily stretching routine, and I’d like to add just a little bit of strength training. I need to remember to keep the goals small: if my plan feels like a burden, the plan isn’t sustainable. I also have to be willing to adjust a plan that’s not working rather than stopping completely. A plan for exercise or eating that I don’t follow is as pointless as a recipe I never make.

Whatever you choose to do, be it a care plan or a cookbook, your plan has to fit you.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on Pinterest