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Last week, I shared "FOUR STEPS TO EMBRACING THE GAME-CHANGING POWER OF INTENTIONALITY," Part 2 of the“Intentionally More in 2024” series. That piece explored what can happen when we don’t take an intentional approach to important parts of our life, and the four steps to take to cultivate more intentionality. This week’s piece looks at the 7 ways intentionality enhances our happiness in both personal and professional realms.


man in bed who can't sleep

Have you ever been trying to drift off to sleep at night but you’re restless, and you find yourself replaying part of your day that didn’t go quite as you’d like? Or you fixate on a decision you made that felt a little off? Or something you said that you know didn’t reflect the best you. Or it’s more of a general unease you’re feeling as your day blended into all the rest, and you didn’t gain any traction on where you’d really like to head.

While we’re in dithery contemplation mode like that, most of us don’t say to ourselves, “Wow, I need to add more intentionality to my life,” or “Tomorrow I’ll be 100% self-aware and aligned with my beliefs and actions.” We don’t use language like that. And most of us don’t realize that’s at the heart of our issues. And that being more intentional would actually make our lives so much better. Instead, we tend to be annoyed with ourselves and perhaps engage in a little negative self-talk (“What an idiot, why did I say that?”). At best we resolve not to be as hasty in our moves tomorrow.

woman waving intentionality banner


I’ve definitely had bouts of nighttime fretfulness, though far less frequently than in the past. Since embracing mindfulness and valuing the huge impact it’s made on boosting my self-awareness and intentionality, I’m continually striving to walk my talk of being more on-purpose with my words, actions and decisions. It’s really a lifelong journey, so now when I’ve had moments of misalignment, it’s much easier to zoom in on what the situation was, what I think caused it and how to move forward from there. I can almost always resolve it in my mind quickly, and shift my brain to more interesting thoughts as I fade into dreamland.

But until I put those pieces together and realized the vast majority of my missteps and discontent stemmed from a lack of thoughtful intention, I was all over the place. I wasn’t as nice as I should have been, relying on sarcasm and quips to navigate challenging meetings or relationships. Ew. I made spur of the moment decisions that had nothing to do with what I wanted to accomplish in life. Double ew

Since making mindful living my way of being, my happiness and contentment have reached all time highs. As I said, I still have moments when I’m not my best me, but I now have the awareness to realize that 97% of the time, these anomalies crop up when I’m sick or in physical pain or when I feel stress and I’m not taking enough time to breathe and be in the moment with it. The fact that I have this awareness of what pulls me off course and that it happens only occasionally makes me such a huge fan of mindfulness and intentionality.

woman holding number 7


Let’s look at seven specific ways being more intentional with our actions can contribute to increased happiness. For each, I’ll include an example to illustrate how it shows up in life so you might relate it to your own experience.

1) Clarifies Priorities

Intentionality requires us to reflect on our values and priorities. By identifying what truly matters to us, we can focus our time and energy on activities that align with our core beliefs. This clarity can lead to a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

Example: Tori, after reflecting on her values, realizes that spending quality time with her family is a top priority. She decides to allocate more time to family activities and reduce commitments that don't align with this value. This intentional choice brings clarity to her priorities and a sense of purpose to her daily life.

2) Enhances Self-Awareness

Intentional living involves being mindful and self-aware. When we pay attention to our thoughts, emotions, and actions, we gain a better understanding of ourselves. This self-awareness allows us to make choices that are in harmony with our authentic selves, fostering a deeper sense of contentment.

Example: Marlon practices mindfulness, paying attention to his emotions and thoughts. Through self-reflection, he becomes aware of a recurring pattern of stress during work meetings. This awareness allows him to address the underlying issues, leading to better decision-making and a more contented work environment.

3) Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Intentional living often involves setting realistic goals and breaking them down into manageable steps. This proactive approach reduces feelings of overwhelm and anxiety. Knowing that our actions are purposeful and aligned with our objectives can bring a sense of control and calmness.

Example: Etta, in adopting intentional living, breaks down her work projects into smaller tasks. By setting realistic goals and intentionally focusing on each step, she reduces the feeling of overwhelm associated with tight deadlines. This approach helps her manage stress more effectively.

4) Improves Relationships

Intentional communication and actions in relationships lead to more robust connections. By being present and purposeful in our interactions, we build trust and understanding. Healthy relationships are crucial for overall well-being and contribute significantly to happiness.

Example: Sal practices intentional communication with his partner. Instead of reacting impulsively to disagreements, he takes a moment to understand his emotions and communicates calmly. This intentional approach fosters a deeper connection, trust and mutual understanding in their relationship.

5) Fosters a Positive Mindset Intentional living encourages a positive mindset. When faced with challenges, individuals who approach difficulties with purpose and intentionality are more likely to see them as opportunities for growth rather than insurmountable obstacles.

Example: Facing a setback at work, Alex approaches it with intentionality, viewing it as an opportunity to learn and grow. By framing challenges positively and intentionally seeking solutions, Alex maintains a constructive mindset that contributes to his resilience and overall well-being.

6) Promotes Work-Life Balance Intentionality helps in setting boundaries and prioritizing responsibilities, contributing to a healthier work-life balance. This balance is essential for overall life satisfaction and well-being.

Example: Marina, recognizing the importance of balance, sets boundaries on work hours and commits to personal time. This intentional decision results in improved well-being as she achieves a healthier balance between professional responsibilities and personal life.

woman and gratitude journal

7) Cultivates Gratitude Being intentional often involves recognizing and appreciating the positive aspects of life. This practice of gratitude can shift our focus from what's lacking to what we have, promoting a more positive and contented outlook.

Example: James, practicing intentional gratitude, regularly reflects on positive aspects of his life. By acknowledging and appreciating small moments, relationships and achievements, he shifts his focus from stressors to the abundance in his life, fostering a more positive and content mindset.

I hope these examples demonstrate how being more intentional with our actions allows us to live in alignment with our values; promotes self-awareness; reduces stress and fosters positive relationships. These factors collectively contribute to a greater sense of happiness and fulfillment in our lives.

If you’re not sure of the role intentionality plays in your life, take a few moments to reflect on how clear you are on your core values and goals and how your daily actions and decisions align with them.


Trie Angeleva Coach

Mindful Reimagineur

As a Certified Coach, Owner of Planet Reimagine and with Manhattan as her backdrop, Trie thrives when collaborating with others to reimagine their life, work, leadership or organization. A 30-year vegetarian, adopted-dog mom and travel-happy meditator and yogi, Trie is a former CIO and COO and founder of Embark and The Love Monday Method. She has two Master's degrees, six coaching certifications and a certificate in Executive Leadership from Cornell University. Connect with Trie at



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