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Making goals during the slow summer months

Dear Readers: The slower pace of summer allows us time to reflect on what we’ve achieved so far this year, and what GOALS we can still set.

One way to look ahead is to create a dream or vision board. This is a collection of clippings from magazines and newspapers of motivating pictures and words and phrases, along with tangible samples (your friend’s subway ticket from New York City, or a concert ticket, postcard, keychain or refrigerator magnet, for example), which are adhered to a poster board that is typically displayed in your office or bedroom.

Visualizing your goals can help you focus on them. A fun way to get started? Host a party; get some magazines together, several pairs of scissors, some poster board and rubber cement. Add delicious cheese and wine, set some GOALS and then make them happen. — Heloise

P.S. Don’t focus on one subject, like travel; cast a wider net: career, family and personal achievement.

SUNDAY DUE DAY

Dear Heloise: I had a card payment due on the ninth; that was a Sunday. I assumed I could make the payment on Monday. Wrong! I incurred a late fee.

I contacted the company on its website’s live chat and explained my situation. The representative could not have been nicer.

He waived the fee (happy customer!), but let me know that the payment is required by midnight Eastern Time on the due date (regardless of the day of the week that it lands on) in order for it to be considered on time. — Julie W., New Braunfels, Texas

Companies may have different policies on Sunday payments; glad your situation worked out well! You also can set up automatic bill payments with the company, or through your bank. — Heloise

AN EASIER WAY

Dear Heloise: Possibly the greatest cellphone and tablet accessory ever: The gooseneck phone or tablet holder. This thing is incredible.

It clamps on to a wooden armrest or bookshelf, and it has an adjustable, flexible gooseneck that grabs and holds on to your device.

You can sit on the couch or bed and adjust the holder to exactly where you want it to be, and watch a video or comfortably chat on the phone, hands-free — I love it! And they are cheap (less than $20). No more cellphone elbow or text neck! — Johnny T. in Ohio

ELICIT AND ILLICIT

Dear Heloise: What’s the difference between the words “elicit” and “illicit”? They sound similar. — James J. in Houston

James, good ear! These words are called homophones, because they sound so similar, but they have different meanings.

“Elicit” is a verb, meaning to draw out: The comedian is trying to elicit laughter from his audience.

“Illicit” is an adjective, meaning illegal or forbidden: She could be arrested for selling illicit copies of those books. — Heloise

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Hints from Heloise run occasionally in Lifestyles. Readers may send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE, or email: Heloise@Heloise.com. Letters won’t be answered personally.

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