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As a professional educator with four children, a former high school principal, Army Airborne Ranger, and someone who serves on community committees and boards of directors, I understand a little bit about not having enough time or space to thrive. Intentionality is a helpful ingredient and can be extremely powerful for living, learning, and leading. To move with intentionality provides you with a sense of direction, a semblance of control, and a path toward your purpose. To think with intentionality provides you with focus and clarity. To live and love with intentionality provides you with space to build strong and deep relationships that last beyond a lifetime. I wanted to share a few tips I use in my own life and work to help you get deeper into intentionality. 

A quick note: I acknowledge that there is value in happenstance, whimsy, and spontaneity. The value-add to all of life and love that these playful and unintended beautiful moments make up gives us strong core memories in our lives, and are absolutely amplified when our balance with intentionality allows healthy impulses to thrive. 

I think of intentionality with three criteria: By design, On purpose, and With strategy. These coalesce in a way that is planned, aligned with goals and purpose, and action-oriented with a clear focus.


  1. Set crystal clear goals. Know what you are doing and why you are doing it. Pro tip: Make your goals public for a level of accountability that is unmatched.
  2. Find your rhythm. For all the things in your life, quickly identify when you (a) have the time and (b) function at your best. Find what works for you. Find your most productive times and make sure your task list is prioritized for completion during that time – especially the big, difficult tasks. Pro tip: Once you are in rhythm, do everything you can to stay in rhythm, no matter what time of day you are able to do it and do it well. 
  3. Set yourself up for success. If it pulls you out of your rhythm or derails you off course from achieving your goals, get it out of here. Unless it is a responsibility. If you know you are distracted by certain things or at certain times, remove them when needed. Out of sight, out of mind. Pro tip: Make a list of all the things you do that are not aligned with your goals; and then stop doing them. 
  4. Stay organized. Order and organization with intention provide you with a structure to the little things that keep you free for the big ones. Set aside tomorrow’s fit tonight. Meal prep for the week by cooking your meals and packing them in storage containers for the fridge. Fold your laundry and put it away as soon as it is done. Make your children’s lunches before they wake up. Intentionality starts with being squared away. Pro tip: Put everything in your calendar and color code it; this will give you a visual of how you spend your time. 
  5. Maximize your role in relationships. Make it a priority to remember details about the people who are most important in your life, and catalog them using some mechanism that won’t allow you to forget. Knowing names, dates, accomplishments, hopes, fears, favorites, love language, etc. will allow you to be the best human for other humans you can possibly be. Pro tip: Ask a lot of questions and remember the responses. 
  6. Lead by focusing on your people. Have an intentional design for your interactions, check-ins, communications feedback, and strategic plans. Knowing what questions you will ask which people will also keep your leadership focused on the right things. Schedule weekly one-on-ones with members of your leadership team. Create a small committee that is responsible for giving you feedback on your communications. Pro tip: Get feedback on drafts of your communications before you send out; engage your people when creating a shared vision or developing a strategic plan; ‘flatten’ your organization by adjusting your leadership and governance structure.  

I hope you are able to find just one thing you can latch onto to be more intentional about being more intentional. I’d love to continue the conversation with you! Email is best: