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Back in February, my life coach, Rosemary O'Neill, suggested I create a "vision board." This project involved tearing pictures out of magazines that represented the way I'd like my life to look, and gluing them to a poster board. Unfortunately, I lost steam early on, and the vision board has been sitting, unfinished, in a closet. When Rosemary asked me about it the other day, I told her that I meant to get back to it, but daily tasks kept getting in the way. Her response: Be careful how you talk to yourself. Phrases like "meant to" and "trying to" don't often yield results. Instead, she recommends concise and deadline-oriented language, such as, "I'm going to finish my vision board by Sunday, and then look at it daily for inspiration." So, I gave myself a deadline of August 14, and I completed the vision board. And as she predicted, keeping the promise to myself gave me a much-needed shot of self-confidence.

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