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Follow our journey as we build Puristics, a new brand of anti-aging skin care without harsh chemicals. For us, the past 3 years have been filled with "aha" moments as we educate consumers about label literacy - knowing the ingredients in your beauty products, since harsh chemicals can end up on your skin. We welcome you to learn from our experiences both as businesswomen and busy moms, and please share your own stories, too!

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Act Your Way Into a New Way of Thinking

What changes are you trying to make in 2011?  Every year, I set my mind to things that I’d like to adjust in my life, as I suspect you do as well.  My list usually covers a broad range of “vice corrections” (truth be told, my vice list is short and dull) and behavior improvements.  On the more superficial end, I renew my vow to floss twice a day and bike to work one day a week (when the ice and snow clears).  On the more profound side, I make a commitment to regular reading of philosophical, spiritual or classical texts, resolve to keep my critical tongue in check and promise to do more for volunteer organizations.  Of course, there are the usual and expected - - fewer cookies, more treadmill time (I give up sugar every morning!).  I’m pretty disciplined, so many of these changes happen, at least in part and at least for a while. 

This year, I focused on those things that appear on my list year after year.  What is it that’s preventing lasting change?  What could I do to make small but steady progress toward these goals so that they could eventually be retired?  What strategies could I employ that would also help with new changes in behavior?  I realized that fear of failure was a major impediment to most.  Then, I had the good fortune to listen to a speaker who’s done extensive work with Habitat for Humanity.  He encouraged us to “act our way into a new way of thinking”.  I realized that I’d been doing it the other way around; I’d been trying to think my way into changing my actions rather than acting until my mind caught on. 

With this piece of guidance, I set down a new path.  Here are some of the goals I’ve laid out as well as some you might try, and how we can act our way into a new way of thinking.

1. Make exercise a priority.   4 a.m is my exercise time.  As we prepared for the Puristics launch in late 2010, I found 1,001 other things that needed to be done at 4 a.m. They all felt like higher priorities than exercising.  

  • I now lay out my work-out clothes in the evening and go directly to my bike or treadmill after the dogs have been fed, before my mind can think of excuses.
  • I signed up for the 5 Boro Bike Tour in NYC on May 1. It’s 42 miles, and I perform best with scary goals. Join me.  We’ll be Team Puristics.
  • I'm looking for running/biking events (preferably for charities) in our regional launch markets (Denver, Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham). Please tell me about good ones. We're few in number, but Team Puristics is mighty! You could come out and cheer me on!
  • Check out and make a commitment contract if you need extra motivation.

2.  Enjoy the journey rather than obsessing over the destination.  This one’s hard for me because I’m SO goal-oriented, but I think it’s important to make sure that we’re not missing today while we’re focused on tomorrow.  Tips that might help:

  • Setting cruise control on the car to the speed limit (or at least close) to control the compulsion to pass every car ahead of you (I can’t be the only one with that urge!).
  • Listening to calming music or an audiobook while waiting for the TSA to check my i.d., boarding pass and stinky shoes. 
  • Asking the Starbucks barrista how the day is going while I wait for my venti Americano (a.k.a., jet fuel).  Connecting with a random stranger is an action that can really adjust your thoughts and mood for the day. 
  • While riding on a train or bus or walking down the street, try to imagine who might live in the houses you pass.  Try to think of their stories.  You’ll be amazed at how it makes you feel a part of the world rather than just a passerby. 
  • Smile at kids you meet and their parents.  Not in a creepy, scary way, of course!  A smile or an acknowledgement will let the child know that they’re connected to a bigger world and let the parent know that you understand and appreciate what they’re doing.

3. Give my children tangible examples of my love and commitment to them.  Yes, this happens (I hope) every day in our interactions and through every school play, hockey game or swim meet.  Still, I’m feeling the empty nest days getting closer and would like “pieces” of me and their childhoods to travel with them on their journey.

  • I bought yarn, new knitting needles and sweater patterns and have begun to knit a sweater for each of them.  Somehow, I hope this will give them warmth on the inside and out when they’re out on their own.  I make big Icelandic sweaters because the bulky yarn knits up quickly. is my current source.  And if anyone found the finished sleeve I left under the seat of a Continental flight from SFO to EWR, I’d love to get it back! (ugh!). 
  • If you’re a scrapbooker, a customized book for each child would be a great lifelong treasure.

4. Reduce the number of “yuck” assaults on your body.  For me this includes ingested “yuck” and slathered on “yuck”.

  • Pause and count to 10 before you reach for and consume ANY food or drink.  Make this a discipline for all food or drink regardless of the “good for you rating”.  This action should make you think more about the real need for what you’re consuming and give you a chance to choose an alternative. (Even consider changing your coffee choice)
  • Try the same exercise for a day with your personal care routine.  Pause for 10 seconds before you use a product so you can think about the choice.  Do you need to use 4 hair products every morning?  What’s in the face cream you’re about to slather on your skin?  (check the ingredients against a list like that on the Skin Deep website or the Dirty Dozen). Is there a better choice? Do you really need nail polish or will nicely trimmed, natural nails work for you?  You may find that you save time, money and exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.


Act your way into new ways of thinking.  I'd love to hear how you've made changes for the better and how you've done it.

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