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Top Visual Trends of 2016

Top Visual Trends of 2016

The year 2016 was unpredictable even when we thought we had it figured out. Looking into the New Year, people will be a tad cautious of making predictions, but there are trends that we can expect to make a statement in the New Year.

Wrong political predictions marked 2016. First, there was Brexit, and then there was the U.S. presidential election. Never has the world been so wrong. The news from Syria did not get any better, as the civil war entered its fifth year. We lost a few stars too, among them Prince and George Michael. It was an unsettling year, but that hasn’t stopped the world from hoping for better things ahead.

In light of this, 2017 is likely to be an interesting year from all angles. The world will be watching as new leadership takes over. That aside, we seem to have reached a point of self-awareness as far as the environment is concerned. Collectively, we are only becoming aware of the consequences of years of wrongful living.

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Suddenly, the world seems to have a strong desire to make the Earth green again. You have probably heard talk of recycling and up-cycling now more than ever. There is a talk of using cleaner fuel, and countries such as the Netherlands are becoming case studies of what it means to rally behind a greener Earth.

Nutrition wise, 2016 has seen a continued advocacy for healthier lifestyles. More people are aware of their sedentary lifestyles and seem eager to ditch them for active pastimes (we could credit celebrities for this). This trend is likely to continue in 2017 as health groups continue to push the world towards wiser choices. Fitness has never been more fashionable.

In the fashion and style arena, we are likely to see a return to originality. This concept is a follow-up on what we have seen in 2016. People are keen to return to their roots. We have seen an increased interest in natural hair, nude faces, and a burst of colors. The fashion industry is likely to get even more colorful and bold, as we see people expressing themselves fearlessly. Self-awareness has captured the world and no one wants to be left behind.

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Technology is not expected to take a break. Actually, we expect some incredible breakthroughs that will make everyday activities easier. At this rate, no one would be surprised if this technology-hungry generation came up with AI technology that runs personal errands. Oh, wait, Mark Zuckerberg already unleashed Jarvis for his home! There is so much in store for the coming year that it can make you antsy with anticipation. Unlike other years, no one can accurately predict how it is going to be, which is part of the charm.

Unfiltered Feed

If you have paid attention to photography in 2016, photographers have been retreating to shooting on raw. There is this originality that only comes out on imperfections. The new generation seems interested in cutting out the noise and focusing on only one aspect in the midst of chaos. This method of shooting brings out a creative edge that forces you to stop and take note. We can expect more of this unfiltered work of art in 2017.

Additionally, Getty Images predicts that imagery will be directed on what they call New Naivety. New Naivety uncovers what we previously fought hard to cover. It exposes the imperfections such as chubbiness and freckles. The younger generation is finding ways of expressing themselves with unbridled freedom, which has big business following suit.

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Branding

Although 2016 has seen the rise of social media from just a social link-up to a place where companies can push their names, there is still no measurable evidence that the traffic driven by likes, followings, and comments translates to sales. Since this type of ROI cannot be measured without a doubt (yet), brand loyalty remains the driving force that gives a definite return. To this end, companies are going to continue their marketing agenda to keep and expand their share of the market.

Branding is more likely to take a visual route than before. We are likely to have colorful packaging with bold lettering that goes beyond how to use the product. As awareness rises, food containers will loudly proclaim what is inside, and there is a high possibility of it being organic.

More brands will show distaste for animal cruelty by showing it on proudly on their labels such as Too Faced and Hourglass. They even carry a vegan line for inclusion. The idea, in 2017, will be to brand the products in such a way that consumers can tell from the get-go what they are buying. Custom brushes and Pantone swatches are some of the tools that will be at the top of the list of programs for graphic artists in 2017.

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Color Me Bright

We are swimming in an outburst of color. Photography has come of age and is no longer afraid of breaking the rules. We see image-makers playing with unimaginable combinations to bring out what something ought to be, and not necessarily what the world would expect it to look like.

This burst of boldness is creating an interesting angle at branding and arousing interest. In 2017, we expect to see more of this color scheme, and a campaign that does not conform to the conventional palette.

Fashion Freedom

The world is embracing different body types. In 2016, we saw an influx of self-assured plus size women in magazines, especially the 2016 edition of Sports Illustrated that featured Ashley Graham. Even though she is not an exceptionally big woman, it is good to see the top-rated magazine feature someone who is not a size zero.

In 2017 we will see the continued trend of women boldly showing off their curves. The world is advocating for better diets and active lifestyles to fight obesity. However, a platform is quickly coming up for people with ‘less than perfect’ bodies (have in mind that the average American woman is size 16) to embrace the present as they work for the future. Brands dealing in apparel for full-figured women such as Wacoal and Spanx will get bolder with louder colors and designs that are more daring.

In conclusion, we found that if 2016 was ambitious, then the world hasn’t seen anything yet. The year 2017 will bring even more disruptive events that will change the way we look toward the future.

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Erick Clifford

Journalist

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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