Conscious choices and the principle of progress

A few days ago, I was working with a client. She was wondering what she needed to do to stay focused on achieving her goal, when, oh so often, things were standing in her way. She is struggling with two challenges:

  • She believes she often doesn’t have a choice, and

  • She believes that progress always has to be big to be considered as such.

I introduced her to the notion of conscious choices and the principle of progress.


Making conscious choices:
We spend our entire lives making choices, and those choices are what got us where we are today.

Let’s take the example of a friend of mine who, many years ago, went on holiday in France, where she met her Kiwi hubby. She is now living in New Zealand with him, and they have two beautiful kids. What would her life look like if she had chosen to go on holiday to Italy instead?

The only challenge is that most people are letting these choices happen to them by default instead of taking an active part in them. The matter of the fact is that we always have a choice. That doesn’t mean that all choices we have are choices we like. Sometimes, we have to choose between something we don’t like and something we don’t like. But the fact that we are the ones deciding which one of the two we are choosing will give it a totally different weight. It puts us in the driver’s seat. It means we are in charge, we decide. We no longer let others and circumstances decide for us.


The principle of progress:
To measure progress, you need to know your starting point and your destination. Therefore, your first job is to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve.

Once you have that, you must remember that any step, however small, is progress as long as it is in the right direction.

But getting there is not always a straight line. You often have to course-correct, and that is something you will do by making conscious choices but also by analyzing what didn’t work with what you did.

Remember Edison? It is said that Edison created over 1,000 light bulbs that did not work before he created one that did. These bulbs that didn’t work were never failures for him. He saw them as indications of options to eliminate so that he could progressively reach what he was looking for.

I’m giving you below two tips to help you put these two notions into action.


Tip for making conscious choices:
Every morning when you start your day (I do it when I wake up) set yourself an intention for that day. Consciously decide on something that you will do that day. It can be ‘project’ related (something like ‘today I will create the structure of my website’ or ‘I will contact ten prospective clients’). It can be personal growth related (such as ‘today I will take stock of the negative language I use’ or ‘today I will listen more than I speak’). These are only examples. The idea is that you make a very conscious choice and that you know why you make it.


Tip for the principle of progress (in relation to the conscious choice you made):
Every evening, ideally just before going to bed, review your day. Don’t do it mentally. Journal about it, and remind yourself of the intention you had set for that day.

Once you reconnected to that intention, ask yourself if you did what you had intended to.

  • If you did, congratulate yourself. You have all reasons to be proud, and that good feeling of pride is what will help you step out of your comfort zone tomorrow to work on a new intention again,

  • If you didn’t or didn’t completely, don’t beat yourself up. Finding good reasons why it ‘doesn’t work anyway’ is not going to help you progress. Instead, I’d like you to step into Edison’s shoes and ask yourself what you need to change or tweak for it to work tomorrow.

From there, set a new intention for tomorrow that you will repeat to yourself when you wake up in the morning.

Rinse and repeat!

One little step after the other, as long as it is in the right direction, will get you where you want to be.

Enjoy the journey!


Book a free session