Have you ever done some remodeling? The goal of remodeling is to make things better than they were before. To do that, sometimes the old has to be torn away in order for something better to take its place. Which means things may get worse before they get better.
We were reminded of that this past week when we got a notice from our townhome association that contractors would be removing the stucco from the outer wall of our sunroom. They would also be removing a huge window, make some needed repairs and reinstall it. All this because moisture had gotten behind the stucco causing some major issues. We weren’t aware of the issues, but some testing by a moisture meter revealed the problem.
Sure enough the workers showed up. Two stories of scaffolding were put up and soon sawing and hammering took place. It was noisy! Chips of stucco were flying! It didn’t take long for things to look worse than before. When they finally got the stucco removed, they found rotten wood. Thank goodness the problem was discovered before it got even worse.
That got us thinking about how similar that dynamic is to our health. Sometimes we aren’t even aware of problems occurring in our bodies. We may get little hints from time to time, but if symptoms don’t persist, we may not do anything about it. However, a routine checkup could show that something needs attention.
My (Doug) mother was a perfect example. She had a routine colonoscopy. They found she had colon cancer. The doctors removed the cancer from the colon. Because she was proactive with her health, doctors caught the cancer early. She never even had to have radiation or chemotherapy.
Intellectually, we know we need to take care of ourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually yet we don’t always do it. Why is that? Jim Rohn, a wise teacher, speaker and author would ask, “If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, why don’t more people do it? It’s easy to do.” His answer was, “Because it’s also easy not to do.”
When it gets down to it, the basic pillars of good health are pretty simple — proper diet, consistent exercise, adequate sleep and a positive mindset. We can also hear our mothers asking, “Are you drinking enough water?” We admit that we don’t always get enough water and that sometimes sleep and exercise get short-changed, too. It does take discipline to continue doing the right things long enough until you get the desired results.
Whether you are remodeling the back of a home or remodeling your body, mind and spirit, there are some steps that are similar. There is a classic book, “Changing for Good: A Revolutionary Six-Stage Program for Overcoming Bad Habits and Moving Your Life Positively Forward.” The authors are James O. Prochaska, PhD, John C. Norcross, PhD and Carlo C. Diclemente, PhD. These are the stages: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance and termination.
In our home project, we’re glad that someone else is handling all these stages. Our townhome association decided what needed to be done, got workers who would prepare, take action and maintain progress until it is completely terminated. We’re grateful that all we have to do is get used to some pounding, scraping and looking through plastic covered windows for a few days.
With health, however, it gets harder. Let’s look at how the six stages of change fit in with remodeling our life. In the precontemplation stage of change, you might not even realize what needs to change, but others can probably tell you. In the contemplation stage you identify what you want to change and you get ready for it. For example, preparation may mean getting some walking shoes to start exercising.
Taking action on lots of things at once may seem overwhelming, so take small, consistent steps toward your goals. Maintenance of good routines helps them become lasting habits. What termination means is that you’ve reached desired goals and have habits that can serve you well in the future. Deepak Chopra said, “The way you think, the way you behave, the way you eat, can influence your life by 30 to 50 years.” Wow! That’s impressive!
How about you? We encourage you to do any remodeling you need for your body, mind and spirit. Remember, your body is your home. Take good care of it so you can live there as long as possible.