It’s easy to blow things off when your commitment to yourself is the only thing at stake. But make yourself accountable to a friend and suddenly potential embarrassment becomes a powerful motivator. It’s “positive pressure,” says life coach Cheryl Richardson, the author of Take Time for Your Life ($14, amazon.com). Just as you’re more likely to exercise when you’re meeting a friend at the gym, you may be more apt to fill out critical paperwork if you have a partner looking over your shoulder (even virtually). Fear of letting someone down might be the perfect motivator. Call a friend or a sibling (not the warm-and-fuzzy kind—the tough-nut, no-excuses kind) and tell her what you plan to get done. Ask her to check in and crack the whip at an appointed time. Then let the fear of disappointment work its dark magic.
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