The election has now been decided and most thinking Australians, regardless of their political persuasion, will be watching and waiting to see whether the intentions and promises outlined by the Abbott led Liberal National Coalition will help them in some way live more happy, flourishing and prosperous lives.

While there is no doubt there will be various sorts of economic, environmental, and social impact on the personal and work lives of many Australians, the good news is, in reality, you still hold the balance of power – in so much that you have the potential to control how you personally feel and what you intentionally do about the changes.

What I’m not saying is that nothing changes.

What I am saying is whatever changes, each of us gets to choose how we intentionally think, feel and take action in our personal and work life… and our choice of intentional actions (what we intentionally choose to do with our time and resources), regardless of what changes happen in our life, can amount up to 40% of our overall sense of well-being and happiness according to research by Prof. Sonja Lyubomirsky Uni of California, Riverside.

While many people, again regardless of political persuasion, will now set about starting to judge the intentions, promises, actions and results of the new government, the potential danger is, the more time, effort and passion we invest in either blaming or supporting governments for the political, social, and economic environment we live and work in, the more likely it will be that we take focus off our own intentions and the significant impact our intentions have on us living more happy, flourishing and prosperous lives.

We are our own Senate – keeping ourselves honest

What the research from applied positive psychology studies validate is the more we intentionally choose to maximise our opportunities (whatever our personal circumstances might be) to live life experientially with those we love and care for, (intentionally choosing experiences over purchases of more ‘stuff’ to keep up with the Joneses), the more we build our overall sense of well-being and the more energised, healthy, fulfilled and flourishing our lives will be.

The problem is that takes effort… It takes intentional effort.

Here are five ways to use intention to build more control and fulfilment into your personal and work life:

1. Get clear on your intention – When you’re clear about your intention (what you wish or hope) for yourself and more importantly for others, you’re more clear about the promises, actions and results you’ll have control over in your life

2. Build intentional trust relationships – trust is about self-trust, trust in others and others trusting in you. Taking intentional action to build more trust into your relationships will have positive impact in almost every area of your life… giving you more confidence and personal control to take more intentional actions.

3. Be with family – intentionally choosing to be with family more mindfully, in more moments, more often not only builds intentional trust within your family, but provides you with those experiences that don’t need to cost much (if anything) but create more meaning and stability in your life

4. Be with friends – see ‘be with family’ and apply with friends

5. Feed your soul and creativity – this has nothing to do with religion or spirituality (although if that’s what feeds your soul and creativity go for it). This is about intentionally learning and growing in your character, in your skills, knowledge and attributes in ways that help you to invest your time and energy and resources into intentional activities that you can lose yourself in and that provide you with a sense of purpose, meaning, fulfilment, pride and enjoyment.