Ready for a week-long fitness camp?  

Have you ever wanted to do one of those, where chefs make low-cal meals that look gourmet, and personal trainers help you know the best workouts for your body type?

Take a shoulder-angel trip with me next week and enjoy that very experience! Join me at Movara, a fitness camp and resort, (and even was the home of The Biggest Loser!)  My hope is to be a sort of path-paver to help us all discover if this is a worthwile venture, in the short and long-term.

To make the most of this experience for all of us, I’d love for you to share with me your questions and suggestions.

For example:

  • What would you take with you?
  • What would be the best workout wear?
  • What questions would you ask?

Follow me daily as I share on social media – mainly Facebook but also Twitter and Instagram – with posts and pictures, my real-time candid experience.  Ask me questions you’d like answers to and share thoughts on what would make it more meaningful.

So far, to prepare I’ve gotten sick, not been to Zumba at all, and am squishing last-minute clothing prep into my schedule.  Sounds like an ideal way to begin. But my goals when I get there are to:

  • rest and rejuvenate
  • get educated on health and fitness truths
  • bring the take-home principles and practices to keep it going

And hopefully lose a few pounds in the process!

My sweet friends, I’m excted to share this experience with you, whatever it may bring.  Wish me luck!

Hugs, Connie

The Domino Effect of Decisions

In talking with women, I find over and over how one decision at one point in life led to an unexpected experience, which led to an opportunity, which led to a better opportunity, which led to joy and contribution they had never imagined.

Have you experienced that?

For an example, let’s talk swimsuits (stay with me!) I just read an article about Rose Marie Reid. If you don’t know her, read on, talk about amazing!

About 1936, swimsuits were mostly made of wool, came in one size, and sagged when wet.

Yeah, attractive.

So Ms. Reid came up with elasticized fabrics and pretty designs, and got busy. What impressed me is that she did this with three children. It was said by her daughter that she often traveled with scriptures in one hand and a child in the other. Surprisingly, her business grew, to the tune of 18.1 million in one year in 1960.

But even more amazingly, Reid turned down big money cigarette ads and refused to make bikinis—it went against her principles. And she designed one suit, a white one, that involved church women sewing on sequins and then using the suit profits to donate to the Los Angeles LDS temple fund. Talk about a pioneer rewind—maybe it wasn’t smashing good china to mix with plaster, but close enough!

As you see the domino effect of one decision, it’s incredible that one choice—“I think I have a better idea than this hideous wool swimsuit and I’m going to do something about it”—could take this woman to the places she went and allow her to contribute in the ways she did.

What’s a decision you’ve made in your life that took you to a good place you didn’t anticipate? What motivated you to go from thought to action? Who helped you along the way?

Now for the most important question—what thought compels you now, a thought that says, I need to take a step with this. Whether it’s remodeling your home or teaching a class or starting a worthy fundraiser, try to imagine the possible domino effect down the road of one small decision to act today.

Then begin.

Best,
Connie

What do Adele, Natalie Portman, and Myself Have in Common?

Okay, quick, what is the bestselling album of all time?

Don’t know? Me neither. Does it matter?

Exactly.

Reading this article on Adele, I was incredulous that she and other celebrity women were being criticized for saying their most fulfilling role in life has been motherhood (and not a bestselling album). Apparently, Natalie Portman caused an “uproar” in stating a similar message when receiving an Oscar.

Seriously?

Not to be annoying, but how is possible that we live in a society where a woman is demeaned for publicly valuing motherhood—i.e. creating and nurturing human life?

I thank all women who share, support, and encourage the value in being a mother. It is literally priceless. It is incomparable to anything else we as women can do. And that’s no disrespect to anything else we do—and I do plenty, from speaking to writing to teaching a program. And as much as I feel utterly compelled in doing that, it still does not hold a candle to what I do in my home, as mundane as it daily may seem.

To create, raise, and love another human being as only a mother can is an infinite gift. And while the reality is exactly that—real life, including sick kids, tough nights, and endless teaching—that’s precisely where the fulfillment and growth are found.

And I absolutely include those who aren’t mothers in the physical or typical sense. What does that matter? We all have mother hearts, and we fulfill that role with whatever life hands us. But that doesn’t mean we regard the meaning of the role any less because we fulfill it differently than another.

Today, my son is sick. I stayed up all night with him as he fought a fever. I tended to him starting at 3 a.m.and have continued to do so until he fell asleep. I gave juice and supplements, administered healing oils physically and through a diffuser, sought spiritual help through prayer and a blessing, and cuddled him continually.

Although I was supposed to teach a special White House presentation for the Kindergarten today, a helpful neighbor replaced me. She offered either to watch him for me or to go in my stead. Sitting with my son, I knew exactly what he wanted—his mom.

At that moment, there is nothing sweeter than knowing someone you love needs to be nurtured, and you are the one to do it. Not perfectly, not medically trained, but ideal for what he needs at this moment. That’s joy.

I hope today—amidst carpool, dental appointments, and forgotten homework—you can feel the true to-your-bones blessing in being a mother. To know that you were able to participate in the miracle of creating a human being, and that you get the privilege of being the core maternal influence in that being’s life forever, is supernal.

With much love,

Connie

It's Your Lucky Day!

Watch Connie talk about “Finding and Fostering Female Friendship” on Studio 5 with Brooke Walker, or read it on www.KSL.com!

Okay, ladies, it’s your LUCKY DAY!
Win a FREE Back to Basics 1st Quarter monthly program (for you or someone you gift it to), a $400 value!  Enter to win below…
 
Our B2B Complete program works like this:
  • Receive class materials ($200 value) with books, CDs, binder and program filler, downloads and a gift.
  • Use the class materials at a monthly B2B meeting for three months–either in person or through video conference. Learn successful principles and practices in one life area per month (i.e. Fit & Fabulous, Balance Motherhood, Get Organized).
  • Discuss the principles at class with other women doing the same thing, then set and achieve one goal a week during the month.
  • We provide weekly feedback and positive accountability. You get to make real change and enjoy the benefits! 
Check out these responses from women in the program right now!
“I love how having a goal each week really brings awareness for change in my life. It really is becoming more of me!”
–Ardice L. 
 
“I have my life paragraph complete and it feels really good to have a vision! I love connecting with like-minded women, I love the program and the way it makes our dreams doable.  I actually feel like I can do this!  And I love the accountability that makes me do it…..I need it!  I have felt success and I love it!”
–Mindy T. 

TO ENTER TO WIN, go to our Facebook page and do the following:

  • “Like” and “share” the contest post to your timeline.
  • Leave a comment on our Facebook page (i.e., “I liked/shared!”)
  • Then wait to hear if you’re the winner!
  • Winners will be notified within 48 hours! 

Enter the Facebook Drawing HERE.

Hugs,
Connie

It’s Your Lucky Day!

Watch Connie talk about “Finding and Fostering Female Friendship” on Studio 5 with Brooke Walker, or read it on www.KSL.com!

Okay, ladies, it’s your LUCKY DAY!
Win a FREE Back to Basics 1st Quarter monthly program (for you or someone you gift it to), a $400 value!  Enter to win below…
 
Our B2B Complete program works like this:
  • Receive class materials ($200 value) with books, CDs, binder and program filler, downloads and a gift.
  • Use the class materials at a monthly B2B meeting for three months–either in person or through video conference. Learn successful principles and practices in one life area per month (i.e. Fit & Fabulous, Balance Motherhood, Get Organized).
  • Discuss the principles at class with other women doing the same thing, then set and achieve one goal a week during the month.
  • We provide weekly feedback and positive accountability. You get to make real change and enjoy the benefits! 
Check out these responses from women in the program right now!
“I love how having a goal each week really brings awareness for change in my life. It really is becoming more of me!”
–Ardice L. 
 
“I have my life paragraph complete and it feels really good to have a vision! I love connecting with like-minded women, I love the program and the way it makes our dreams doable.  I actually feel like I can do this!  And I love the accountability that makes me do it…..I need it!  I have felt success and I love it!”
–Mindy T. 

TO ENTER TO WIN, go to our Facebook page and do the following:

  • “Like” and “share” the contest post to your timeline.
  • Leave a comment on our Facebook page (i.e., “I liked/shared!”)
  • Then wait to hear if you’re the winner!
  • Winners will be notified within 48 hours! 

Enter the Facebook Drawing HERE.

Hugs,
Connie

The Power and Influence of Female Friendship

I’ve been thinking about the vital need for and blessing of female friendship lately. In fact, one of my favorite poems about friends is from Robert Frost. It’s tucked in a strip of fabric ribbon on my Love Board. And although I empty my board at the start of each new year to allow for incoming notes and mementos of love and happiness, I keep this friendship poem on the board regardless.


​​When a friend calls to me from the road 
And slows his horse to a meaning walk, 
I don’t stand still and look around 
On all the hills I haven’t hoed, 
And shout from where I am, What is it? 
No, not as there is a time to talk. 
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground, 
Blade-end up and five feet tall, 
And plod: I go up to the stone wall 
For a friendly visit. 


This came to mind again and I had to wonder why. Maybe it’s because of sick children this past week and I haven’t been able to connect with friends like usual. Or maybe it’s because life has been happily busy with good things and I haven’t been open to those spontaneous stops to drop by pumpkin bread or pretty pink mums.

I think mostly it’s because in the last several months my female friendship has had a profound influence on me. Women are incredibly intuitive, almost in a “Well, of course, what’s so special about that” way. And as I connect with them, learn from their thought process, feel of their beautiful hearts, and partake of their very real and nurturing energy and spirit, I’m overwhelmed by the goodness that a woman gives by daily being herself.

And she doesn’t even realize it.

Perhaps that’s what makes being friends with a woman something that both men and women want and need, as research confirms. Both genders are shown to feel significantly better after being in the company of a good woman.

For myself, lately women have blessed my life in very particular ways. Just in the past week or so, here are a few: one friend showed me by example a humble response to an unwarranted blistering put-down. Instead of getting angry, she searched for personal truth and how to helpfully and lovingly respond. Several friends, knowing how I feel about helping women and families, unhesitatingly offered their time and talents to assist, without thought of compensation and even though they already serve others tremendously.

Another friend, who has begun doing events for women, and who could have viewed me as “competition,” followed a prompting and told a gal to attend my class as she felt it would help her best. In the class (and unbeknownst to me) this gal’s name was drawn for the free monthly program, which brought her to tears and a confirmation of personal knowledge.

I seriously could go on and on, and this is only in a short time and a fraction of the ways women’s friendship has blessed my and thereby others’ lives. The desire to do good, natural nurturing, instinctive support, deep connection, positive affirmation, and sweet spontaneous service are all part of what being a female friend is about. Is it any wonder we desire to spend time with and be more like such women?

Today, I simply want to thank you, each one of you, for being that kind of friend. Because you have. To someone, somewhere, in your life, and likely without realizing or fanfare, you have been exactly that kind of friend. And most likely when it wasn’t convenient, and possibly with great sacrifice. I hope today, you can pause and reflect on how joyful it feels to be capable of that kind of loving. And to feel in your soul the joy of knowing how you have blessed, over and over in countless moments and smiles and touches, the lives of those around you.

Love,
Connie

Ready for a boost?

Enjoy Connie’s Studio 5 segment, live at 11 a.m. today on Channel 5: “Staying Connected to Your Young Adult Children”


Feeling burned out or less than?
Want to get BETTER BALANCE and MORE LIFE FULFILLMENT?  Join us for our next Jumpstart class to learn the tips and techniques for clarity, balance, and boundaries.

TODAY ONLY, get the class FREE when you invite a friend! 

Learn how to move beyond stuck behaviors of over-scheduling, inappropriate guilt, and negative comparison. Discover how to positively use your voice, and identify and process your emotions.
Make this your month to let go and start living!

“Live Happier: Let Go of Busyness, Guilt, Comparison and Perfectionism”
When: Tuesday, Feb. 9th, 7:30 to 9:00 p.m.
Where: Brigham Larsen, Piano Conservatory (1497 S. State Street, Orem)
Cost: FREE for 24 hours! when you invite a friend (Reg. $39 each)  

Both names must be REGISTERED to reserve your spots: Register HERE
Use special code:  b2bbnfree

And when you REGISTER, you’re entered to win a FREE B2B Complete 1st Quarter(monthly program)!  We’re excited to see you there!
 
Best,
The Back to Basics Team

My answer to, What do you do when…

Back-to-basics

I love when this happens.

Over the weekend a lovely gal responded to one of my posts with a pertinent question.

Here is the post:

“My children used to think I was like the Energizer bunny—I could keep going, and going, and going … It was my fault because I proved it daily by being available for everyone and everything. This was unwise. Through time and experience, I came to realize that not only was I hurting my own health and self-esteem, but I was also setting my children up with expectations and behaviors that could negatively impact them in future relationships.”

[Faithful, Fit & Fabulous]

In response, she asked, “What did you do?”

Great question!

Here are a few things that worked for me, and hopefully something helps you.

First, I took a deep breath, had a piece of quality chocolate, and said a prayer.

Second, I read up on setting healthy boundaries. Then I reworked the concept of what I am to do as a mother. My job is not to do-for, but to love, model, and teach (and if necessary, use words, as St. Francis of Assis would say…). Of course, that happens amidst carpool, homework, scripture study, you get the picture. But my primary energies needed to go toward those three things.

Third, I shifted my way of responding to my children and their situations. I took more control, in a positive way, no longer feeling bandied about like an oarless boat on the sea. I became more clear about what was my responsibility (to help them become Future Stellar Adults) and what that meant (teach them Life Skills, with healthy follow up, as I marinate them in love.) And what was their responsibility (to learn what they would need to become Future Stellar Adults, which meant All Things Mom Told Them to Do).

Some of the specifics included:

*Clear chore expectations. We created Daily Jobs with their name, weekly Deep Clean zones (switched every two weeks), and Specialty Projects known as dreaded family dos on the weekend. These changes lessened my energy drain due to nagging, reminding, and being frustrated. And it constructively spread the work. As I tell them, “It takes a family to clean up after a family.”

*Clear behavior expectations. We made it a clear and followed-up policy to speak kindly and with respect; to acknowledge and identify our feelings and process them in healthy ways; and to ask for what we need and find the best positive way to meet that need. And then we actually followed through on necessary situations.

For example, the past months/years we have two girls who struggle with bickering. So one more “method” to address and improve it recently has been to create happy and not-happy tally marks. This has helped them see how often they’re bickering and how often they’re being kind. It’s clear, logical, and can’t be argued with. The immediate difference has been MAGIC. That has lessened the emotional rollercoaster, my need to referee, and often stops before it can skyrocket.
*Clearly showing that fun rewards are key. Whether it’s playing Speed together or basketball at our neighborhood church, my kids know that rewarding our hard work is a vital part of our family plan. Rewards are fun, and fun is key to creating a joyful family, and a happy mama. And I’ve made it clear–especially with age–that I don’t always need to participate exactly as they do to make it a joy. At times I can make the cocoa and cookies while they build the snow fort and afterward we enjoy the sharing together.

*Clearly stating and showing that Mom is a person. I set parameters that show I’m a Mom, not a doormat. I have go times and stop times, just like they do, and need to sit down some time during the day. They know that after 9:30 p.m. is Mom time and woe be unto them who tread in my room with last minute homework to sign. They know Mom loves her hands-on, always-on job caring for our family and running our home, and, that means she needs to recharge and renew through some hobbies, time with friends to chat, or a spiritual activity filled with peace and quiet. I also set a rule on how often I’ll bring “I forgots” to the school–the first time is a freebie, then it’s a chore or I’m paid to bring it.

There are a lot more things that I put into place. But these few things have been INCREDIBLE in helping me regain energy as well as respect for myself and what I do. And, it’s taught my children better organization, understanding others, greater respect for me and each other, and a more helpful attitude. They know that I’ll help them with a forgotten chore (dishwasher) and they’re happy to offer to play with the toddler for 15 minutes while I run to the neighbor’s.
Hopefully something in here has been helpful:) I’d love to know what you fabulous moms have done to wisely use your energy and not try to be all things to all people all the time!
Hugs,

Connie

P.S Get rid of busyness, guilt, comparison and more at our next Jumpstart B2B class! Feb. 9th, 7:309:30 p.m., reserve early, last time we sold out: CLICK THE LINK TO RESERVE http://conniesokol.com/back-to-basics-program-2/

 

STUDIO 5 Today-"Go-to Mom Books" and FREE PROMO!

Back-to-basics
 
*SCROLL DOWN for my TOP 10 Mom Books!
Check out my Studio 5 segment today on “Got the top Go-to Mom Books?” Brooke and I have a fabulous list of top mom-help and mom-comfort books to get through tough times and find the right solutions for your family.
Live on Thursday at 11 a.m. on Channel 5, or thereafter on www.conniesokol.com
For my followers and Studio 5 viewers, get your SNEAK PEEK free
​Jumpstart ​class promo code!
What: “Jumpstart B2b: Finally Overcome Busyness, Guilt, Comparison and Perfectionism”
When: Feb. 12th, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Where: Brigham Larsen Piano Conservatory, 1475 Orem State Street
Cost: $39 class but use this limited time FREE PROMO CODE: b2bstudio5
Register here: http://conniesokol.com/back-to-basics-program-2/
Enjoy a Back to Basics week!
Connie
Back to Basics Founder
Real Life. Real Solutions. Real Joy.
b2b
My Top 10 Mom Books!

Enjoy this varied selection, and not necessarily in order (as it depends on a given day what I need from a certain book). These books are my go-to group!
The Five Love Languages of Children, Gary Chapman (and the version for adults). An excellent resource for learning how your child needs to feel loved, not necessarily how you most readily show it. Although children need all five love languages, you can learn their primary and secondary ones.
The Challenging Child, Stanley L. Greenspan. When my autistic child about put me in the ground, this was a life-saver. It has great tips on dealing with various types of personalities and issues while retaining the love and positivity.
Everyday Parents Raising Great Kids, James MacArthur. An informative and helpful tool for intentionally parenting, from teens to toddlers, and for having more fun with your children. It’s simple to use and effective in it’s practices. Sound advice with excellent case studies that help you parent in a wiser, happier way. I’ve loved these principles and used them on various children throughout my child-rearing years.
Faithful, Fit & Fabulous, Connie Sokol. Yes, I know, but other women have shared this so I felt I needed to. These life principles and practices have been honed and taught for fifteen years. I use them in some way every single day. From creating healthy connections to balancing motherhood, the principles are simple, doable, and enjoyable.
Parenting with Love and Logic, by Foster Cline, M.D. and Jim Fay. Based on a more logical approach with a good dose of love, this book focuses a good deal on natural consequences and “affordable mistakes.” Absolutely fabulous, it provides specific ways to respond to difficult situations. Recently, I’ve had to do this with two children who continually bicker. Using a positive/negative tally approach, it’s helped them to see how often they’re engaging (more than they thought) and how quickly they can stop it when the outcome is understood.
A Joyful Mother of Children, Linda J. Eyre. A close second was another of her books, I Didn’t Plan on Being a Witch. Mrs. Eyre shares real-life situations with wise solutions. And, the addresses the rollercoaster emotions that can accompany them.
This book has helped me countless times. One particular experience was when my husband and I were deciding whether or not to have a caboose baby. I just happened to grab this book off my shelf and open to a page where she was making a similar decision. Her candor about the emotions and concerns facing that kind of question helped me make a clearer decision for our family.
Motherhood Matters: Joyful Reminders of the Divinity, Reality, and Rewards of Motherhood, Connie Sokol. I wrote this because there days when I felt like a loser mom and wanted to run away. After researching and reading principles to help me feel better, on a deep level, I wanted to share them. With quotes, life experiences, and joyful truths, you’ll feel happy about being mom and able to get back in the ring!
Change Anything, Kerry Patterson and co-authors. Excellent resource on science-based principles for creating change. Their fabulous approach is teaching change concepts like a skill-set, especially applicable to teens. It’s excellent with case studies and real-life application.
The Parenting Breakthrough, Merilee Boyack. A humorous, pragmatic approach to parenting with details on how to help children with emotional, social, and even financial development. And, some great tips on how to be a happier more fulfilled parent.
What Every 6th Grader Needs to Know: 10 Secrets to Connect Moms & Daughters, Rachelle J. Christensen and Connie Sokol. For 5th to 7th graders, this book is a must-have. It’s the reason we wrote it. Covering issues like puberty, friends, bullying, peer pressure and more, the first half of the book i“speaks” to your daughter, the second half “speaks” to you as the mom. Includes conversation tips (how to start, what to do when it gets uncomfortable, etc.), and scenarios to help your child practice situations before they occur.

STUDIO 5 Today-“Go-to Mom Books” and FREE PROMO!

Back-to-basics

 

*SCROLL DOWN for my TOP 10 Mom Books!

Check out my Studio 5 segment today on “Got the top Go-to Mom Books?” Brooke and I have a fabulous list of top mom-help and mom-comfort books to get through tough times and find the right solutions for your family.

Live on Thursday at 11 a.m. on Channel 5, or thereafter on www.conniesokol.com

For my followers and Studio 5 viewers, get your SNEAK PEEK free

​Jumpstart ​class promo code!

What: “Jumpstart B2b: Finally Overcome Busyness, Guilt, Comparison and Perfectionism”

When: Feb. 12th, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Where: Brigham Larsen Piano Conservatory, 1475 Orem State Street

Cost: $39 class but use this limited time FREE PROMO CODE: b2bstudio5

Register here: http://conniesokol.com/back-to-basics-program-2/

Enjoy a Back to Basics week!

Connie

Back to Basics Founder

Real Life. Real Solutions. Real Joy.

b2b

My Top 10 Mom Books!

Enjoy this varied selection, and not necessarily in order (as it depends on a given day what I need from a certain book). These books are my go-to group!

The Five Love Languages of Children, Gary Chapman (and the version for adults). An excellent resource for learning how your child needs to feel loved, not necessarily how you most readily show it. Although children need all five love languages, you can learn their primary and secondary ones.

The Challenging Child, Stanley L. Greenspan. When my autistic child about put me in the ground, this was a life-saver. It has great tips on dealing with various types of personalities and issues while retaining the love and positivity.

Everyday Parents Raising Great Kids, James MacArthur. An informative and helpful tool for intentionally parenting, from teens to toddlers, and for having more fun with your children. It’s simple to use and effective in it’s practices. Sound advice with excellent case studies that help you parent in a wiser, happier way. I’ve loved these principles and used them on various children throughout my child-rearing years.

Faithful, Fit & Fabulous, Connie Sokol. Yes, I know, but other women have shared this so I felt I needed to. These life principles and practices have been honed and taught for fifteen years. I use them in some way every single day. From creating healthy connections to balancing motherhood, the principles are simple, doable, and enjoyable.

Parenting with Love and Logic, by Foster Cline, M.D. and Jim Fay. Based on a more logical approach with a good dose of love, this book focuses a good deal on natural consequences and “affordable mistakes.” Absolutely fabulous, it provides specific ways to respond to difficult situations. Recently, I’ve had to do this with two children who continually bicker. Using a positive/negative tally approach, it’s helped them to see how often they’re engaging (more than they thought) and how quickly they can stop it when the outcome is understood.

A Joyful Mother of Children, Linda J. Eyre. A close second was another of her books, I Didn’t Plan on Being a Witch. Mrs. Eyre shares real-life situations with wise solutions. And, the addresses the rollercoaster emotions that can accompany them.

This book has helped me countless times. One particular experience was when my husband and I were deciding whether or not to have a caboose baby. I just happened to grab this book off my shelf and open to a page where she was making a similar decision. Her candor about the emotions and concerns facing that kind of question helped me make a clearer decision for our family.

Motherhood Matters: Joyful Reminders of the Divinity, Reality, and Rewards of Motherhood, Connie Sokol. I wrote this because there days when I felt like a loser mom and wanted to run away. After researching and reading principles to help me feel better, on a deep level, I wanted to share them. With quotes, life experiences, and joyful truths, you’ll feel happy about being mom and able to get back in the ring!

Change Anything, Kerry Patterson and co-authors. Excellent resource on science-based principles for creating change. Their fabulous approach is teaching change concepts like a skill-set, especially applicable to teens. It’s excellent with case studies and real-life application.

The Parenting Breakthrough, Merilee Boyack. A humorous, pragmatic approach to parenting with details on how to help children with emotional, social, and even financial development. And, some great tips on how to be a happier more fulfilled parent.

What Every 6th Grader Needs to Know: 10 Secrets to Connect Moms & Daughters, Rachelle J. Christensen and Connie Sokol. For 5th to 7th graders, this book is a must-have. It’s the reason we wrote it. Covering issues like puberty, friends, bullying, peer pressure and more, the first half of the book i“speaks” to your daughter, the second half “speaks” to you as the mom. Includes conversation tips (how to start, what to do when it gets uncomfortable, etc.), and scenarios to help your child practice situations before they occur.