Step 4: Create your action plan
Now that you have envisioned your
future and have plotted your starting point,
you can begin to determine exactly what you
need to do to bridge the gap between where
you are today and where you want to be. ;e
gap between your starting point and your
ideal life is bridged by your action plan.
Step 5: Take focused action
Once you have clarity, you can focus on
your goals and drive forward with action. ;e
real miracle is that you now know what you
want and you have a plan to get there.
So what’s next? ;ere really is only one
person responsible for the quality of the life
you live. ;at person is you. It is time to stop
looking outside yourself to ;nd the success
and happiness you deserve. To achieve success and happiness, you must get off the
couch and take action! C
Costco member and speaker Becky Lynn
Smith o;ers a guide to an ideal life at design
mitted infections in the U.S., with about
14 million new cases occurring each year.
In addition to cervical cancer, HPV can
cause other types of cancer, not just in
women but also in men. That’s why the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) recommends that all preteen girls and
boys— 11 or 12 years old—get the three-dose series of HPV vaccine so they are protected from different HPV-related cancers
before ever being exposed to the virus or
any sexual activity. The vaccine produces a
higher immune response in preteens than it
does in older teens and young women.
Teens who did not start or finish the
HPV vaccine series when they were younger
should get it now, the CDC says. Young
women can get the HPV vaccine through
age 26, and young men can get vaccinated
through age 21.
Since some cervical cancers are not
prevented by the HPV vaccines, it is important for women to continue getting
screened even if they have been vaccinated.—David Wight
To learn more about cervical cancer
and HPV, search for those subjects on
• American Cancer Society, cancer.org.
• National Cancer Institute, cancer.gov.
• CDC, cdc.gov.
By Becky Lynn Smith
THERE IS NO secret schematic that draws a
direct path from success to happiness. You
have to create the path yourself. ;e key to
designing your ideal life begins in your mind.
You must ;rst decide; then you must do.
Perhaps you are just dri;ing along aim-
lessly, wishing for a miracle or hoping to win
the lottery to make you happy. Or perhaps
you are deemed successful by society’s stan-
dards, but you are sacri;cing important rela-
tionships to achieve that success. You may
appear to the outside world to have it all, but
perhaps, deep down inside, you wonder, “Is
this all there is?”
If you feel your life could be improved,
here are ;ve steps you can take toward design-
ing your ideal life.
Step 1: Decide to be happy
;e path to happiness begins with your
decision to be happy. It seems simple really, yet
as most of us go through the motions we forget what it takes to be happy. In fact, happiness
is not that simple. Happiness starts with the
desire to intentionally create a life of
purpose, a life in which you choose to
make a di;erence in the world.
Step 2: Dream your future
You must gain clarity about what you
really want and know what truly will make
you happy. ;is is your only life. You get only
one shot at it. To be happy and truly successful in every sense, you must have a vision for
your life and what happiness means to you.
Designing your ideal life consists of making conscious choices about how you want
your life to be across eight areas: your health,
money, relationships, service to others, spirituality, gratitude, time and career/business.
Step 3: Determine your
You must honestly and accurately assess
your thoughts, values, talents, strengths,
habits, behaviors, motivation and other factors to discover that one thing that you could
do, if you chose to, that would give you joy,
help you make a di;erence in the world and
help you create your ideal life. ;is is your
The Costco Connection
Talk to your health-care provider about
childhood vaccines. Costco pharmacies
offer limited vaccinations for children age
9 and older, but the service varies by
state, so check with your local pharmacy.
What does my body need today?
Each day, your body will feel different
and have different needs, based on your level
of energy, what is on your plate for that day
and what is going on in your life. Before
starting your day, ask your body, “What do
you need today?” You might hear the answer
“Rest,” or “Exercise,” or “Dress me in bright
colors; I don’t feel so attractive.” Whatever it
requests, you will feel much better if you
honor its wishes.
The key point is that introspection is an
important part of finding the best way to
health. Your instincts can help you determine
if you need rest, a lifestyle adjustment or professional help. C
Costco member Laurie Gardner (lauriegardner.
com) is a personal development coach, author
and health educator.