How This Mama of Two Went From Overwhelmed to Calm in Just One Month!

By Alicia Cohen

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been naturally organized and detail-oriented.  I’ve always been drawn towards calendars, planners, and to-do lists. 


In college, I had a large calendar on my dorm room wall (that I bought at the campus bookstore) where I wrote down what I had going on.  After college, I excitedly owned and used a Palm Pilot.  (Anyone else remember those??) 


From there, I used an iPod Touch for recording information, and then finally I joined the rest of the world in getting a smartphone. 


These methods worked well for me, to stay on top of what I needed to stay on top of, before I dove too deeply into adulthood.  However, once I really started “adulting” so to speak -- you know...marriage, homeownership -- for as organized and detail-oriented as I was, I couldn’t seem to figure out why I was always so frazzled. 


Why did I feel like I was running a hamster wheel marathon ALL. THE. TIME. ( know.....that never-ending, ​hanging-on-by-a-thread, exhausted race of daily life)? 


And then, add kids into the picture and KERSPLAT!  Right in the deep end, I landed, where I barely stayed afloat with some desperate water-treading.  


Well, you know what?  After living in “why-can’t-I-ever-catch-up” mode for years and years and years, I cracked the code for myself!  I finally was able to get myself off of the hamster wheel marathon.  And, man, did it feel amazing and like the accomplishment of a lifetime!


BUT!  Let me let you in on a little secret.  My transformation wasn’t complicated -- it was quite simple, really!


See, in addition to being naturally organized and detail-oriented, I’m also naturally a learner.  I’m curious.  I ask questions, and I just love to dig in deep on a topic that I’m interested in. 


However, for all my interest in learning (and for all of the non-fiction reading that I’d done), I had never read about and taught myself more about planning and organization.  I had read little things here and there and attended a few online workshops, but since it came to me naturally, I think it never occurred to me, really, to do a deep dive to learn more about planning and organization. 


Until that one day…


At the end of my rope and completely baffled as to why I was always stressed out and behind no matter how hard I tried, I was lamenting to my good friend about my struggle.  She told me about this great online organization summit that she heard about, and gave me the information to check it out. 


Well, check it out, I did!  It looked awesome, I signed up, and there began my deep dive into planning and organization that changed my life forever!  


Ok ok, I know that sounds dramatic, but it really did change my life!  I went from being stressed out and overwhelmed to finally feeling some peace and calm in my life and some SUCCESS about my efforts!  For me, it was amazing!  So, yes, that’s why I go so far as to say that this was truly a life-changing transformation for me.



The End.








Just kidding!!!  I know!  You want to know what changed things for me.  I will tell you, but I’m warning might laugh, or think I’m nuts, or maybe both.


What was missing from my planning was…..PLANNING!


It sounds crazy, I know!  It was so simple, and I’m not really sure how I missed it for so long other than to say that it was because I wasn’t studying the topic. 


All that time, I thought I was planning. 


I had my super-organized, color-coded calendar.  I had my categorized to-do lists.  I had done some goal setting.  But, when all was said and done, the missing piece to why my planning system wasn’t working was because I was missing the PLANNING!


It didn’t matter what sort of fancy gizmo I was keeping my calendar and to-do lists in (sorry, Palm Pilot!), it just wasn’t enough to keep meticulous records of the happenings of my life.  I needed to take that carefully documented information and turn it into a comprehensive, intentional plan.


And that’s just what I did!  And you can, too!


If you want to get started with your own transformation right now, click below to grab my FREE resource where I walk you through the steps I use now that are a result of my “what-was-missing-from-my-planning-was-planning” revelation! Otherwise, keep reading!

So, how did I arrive at this place where I realized that planning was missing from my planning? 


To be fair, I wasn’t a planning “overnight success” or something.  Haphazardly, I had been reading books on the subject here and there, taking the occasional online workshop (about things like making a morning routine, doing goal setting, and the like), trying out different apps (for things like habit tracking, to-do list keeping, etc.), and talking with friends about different ideas for many years. 


I really did try a lot of different things to solve my struggle, but they still were all just random pieces to the puzzle and not the complete and comprehensive solution to the puzzle. 


So, while in some ways it may seem to me that the online organization summit was my big epiphany, if I’m really honest, it was years in the making because, without knowing it, I had been preparing to have that epiphany for a long time. 


Fortunately, you get to benefit from my epiphany!  No need for you to spend years struggling like I did!  I will save you the years of trial and error and frustration!  So, about this culminating event -- the online organization summit -- that made all the difference for me.   


While attending the online summit, I had a lightbulb moment in which I realized that while I had a very detailed information keeping system, I wasn’t actually using that information to make an intentional plan.  Here’s what I needed to do.


First, I needed to start using a paper planner where I would map out my plan.  I needed the planner to have enough space in a day where I could fit everything that I needed to while also being small enough for me to be able to see the span of a few days at one time.  


Then, I needed to take my calendar events, my to-do list tasks, and my goals and synthesize them together in one place -- my paper planner.  It was when I began my daily habit of mapping out my life that I began my journey towards peace, focus, and calm.


Along with this, and equally important, was taking a good, reflective look at the current season of life that I was in.  When I got clear on my current season, and started intentionally planning from that space, things in my planning naturally started to fall into place.


The final piece, and really the most important piece if you’re going to develop a system that really works for you, was reflection.  I was continually tweaking and improving based on what I was noticing. 


I tried color-coding with pens, color-coding with highlighters, using washi tape, allowing myself X number of tasks that I could plan for any given day, etc. 


Each week I asked myself: What went well?  What didn’t go well?  What do I want to try differently for next week? 


Additionally, over time, it was important that I was routinely reflecting on my current season and adjusting my planning accordingly.  It was also important that I was routinely reflecting on my current goals and if they still fit within my life, given my current season.   


It took me about a month to really start getting in a groove where I saw tangible results (and it took me several months to reap the benefits of the ongoing reflection regarding my season and my goals). 


However, once I started making strides, I noticed that my stress was going down, I was feeling calm, and I was feeling like I was finally living in alignment with the way I wanted to be living.  


So, if you’re currently feeling frazzled and exhausted, then you’ve come to the right place! 


Your results won’t be overnight, but with some hard work and reflection, your results will be here before you know it!  Get yourself a planner with spacious writing spaces where you can map everything out in one place. 


Then, experiment with different techniques like color-coding, limiting yourself to a certain number of tasks in a day, etc., so that you can reflect on and tweak your system each week so that you can create the best system possible for yourself. 


While you’re getting your planning system to a better place, hop on over to my FREE download to get my Chaos to Calm Roadmap, which will take you through my method step-by-step so that you can start creating the results you want in your own life using my comprehensive, intentional approach (and also really elevate your planning by signing up for my Sync Your Season workshop which is all about getting great results in your planning by getting clear on your current season in your life)!  Click below to grab your roadmap now! 


Heeeey, Sweet Sister!  I'm Alicia, and I'm so excited that you're here!  I love a lot of things in life, but at the top of my list are my wonderful husband, my two precious kids, and helping other planner-mamas get back their joy and peace in life through intentional, functional planning!


Are you feeling frazzled?  Stuck?  Overwhelmed?  Exhausted?  I get it.  I've been there.  It would be my privilege to help you create a new reality for yourself!


​Click below to get started with my step-by-step guide!