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Finding Your Personal Style, Lesson #3: Create Your Own Visual Style

Finding Your Personal Style, Lesson #3: Create Your Own Visual Style

There is something fundamentally important in being different, in setting yourself apart from the masses to be unique. It is the ability to be different without fading yourself out from society and things going on around you. Being different means drawing from people and happenings around you and trying to turn every movement, moment, and every impression into something you can use as a) a source of inspiration or b) something that gives you a new perspective on the way you see yourself and/or others see you.

Fashion designer Donna Karan once put it perfectly by saying that “an interest in fashion (or yourself) doesn’t necessarily imply a disconnect from the world.” In most cases, it means that those who are aware of who they are or try to become more acquainted with themselves actually have a higher interest in other people or are more attentive to what is going on around them.
An interest in fashion as well as in developing your own style implies that you are not just connected to the fashion world of runway shows and VOGUE — it means taking on your environment, getting inspired by the space you live in and translate it into something you can draw from, something that makes you grow personality-wise and therefore, also style-wise.

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Lesson #3: “Create Your Own Visual Style… let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.” —Orson Welles

The ability to think visually is something you can train if you try hard. It is about training your imagination as well as your brain. To think visually means being educated and knowing a lot about your environment, its history, people, emotions, literature, etc. Thinking visually implies having the ability to transform every mood into something you can draw from — may it be a certain word or text, people or their behavior, a city or a its buildings.

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There are so many things to be inspired by; so many words to write and read, so many dresses to wear, so many style directions one could develop into. It is all about development. Focus on analyzing your environment, look at small things, find the flaw in things and the beauty as well, look carefully at where you are and who you are with. Then, take a second look and maybe even a third. Keep in mind that impressions change the more often you get them. Some impressions can never be made a second time, like the first. Keep that in mind and react upon what is out there right in front of your eyes. Turn the invisible visible. Make it approachable to you. Fit it to your mood and needs and personality.

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Create your own visual style. Look at other people, look at pictures, look at celebrities, look characters from books, look at whoever or whatever you want to look at. Then, try to transform what you saw into something you can work it. Analyze it; don’t just see the things you like and would love to be. See what hides behind the obvious surface, take a close look at things and also keep in mind that things never are always lipgloss and roses — every surface sometimes cracks. Mostly, it is those cracks that make it special and different, identifiable but at the same time unique.

Being different doesn’t necessarily imply that you have to put on a wig and a show and just do your thing no matter what. Being different means working out your best features, underlining them and developing yourself throughout the process of finding out who you are and how YOU actually look like versus how you want to look like. There is no space for playing pretend or playing games — developing style can only come from the true within, from who you are underneath the makeup and clothes and skin and bones. Remember that the inside reflects the outside and vice versa — dress according to that.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

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