3 Steps to Making Conscious Choices

What’s the secret to making a choice you’ll never regret? The secret is there is no secret to it… Making choices confidently is done with one simple strategy in mind – think through it thoroughly! I can tell you from personal experience I’ve dealt with both types of choices in my life – the unconscious, the uncertain and on the opposite end, the conscious, the rooted.

Making conscious choices is really the only way to go about life with zero regrets. Otherwise, you’re constantly kicking yourself, wondering what could have been different. How often do you think back on decisions like that? When you’re completely committed to a decision, it changes your perspective completely, even when and if that decision turns out to be the wrong one.

Conscious choice doesn’t keep you from making the wrong decisions. It just helps ensure you’ve made the best decision at that moment for yourself. What comes of that decision is only left then to destiny. Whatever is meant to happen, will happen and at least you’ll feel good that you made the best decision possible.

The 3 Steps to Conscious Choice

When you have a decision to make, it’s always good to lay it all out and take your time. Of course, no one likes indecisiveness and that’s not what this process is meant to do. Indecisiveness is when you can’t make a decision. Conscious choice is the exact opposite of indecisiveness. It’s clarity in making choices and making them with full intent.

However, no one ever said you couldn’t take your time deciding. In fact, even the smallest decisions need room to permeate. Maybe you don’t always have time luxury to make decisions and that’s understandable, but I believe in using the time you do have wisely. Oftentimes, you’ll see that taking your time with a decision actually allows the universe to lay out more cards and create a clearer path for you.

When you have a big decision to make and some time, there are three phases to ensure the best possible outcome.

  1. The Written Problem
    As with any problem, it’s always best to write down your thoughts and situation clearly. Seeing the problem written down allows room for you to think through how you will deal with it. It frees up space to think beyond the idea and on to the alternate realities. Using the choice to be childfree as an example, write down the question, “Should I have children or stay childfree?” Now, you’ve established your problem, and it’s time to explore both realities.
  2. The Alternate Realities
    What happens when you make one decision over another? You only get one chance and one reality to live, so this decision is important. There is no going back, only forward. At this point in your conscious choice, it’s important to consider your alternate realities. You’ve written down the problem or the choices, and now you need to explore them each a bit further. Continue writing down what each reality could look like to you. What are the benefits? What are the consequences? How does each path make you feel?
  3. The Present Factor
    I call this final step the “Present Factor”. The question you should be asking yourself at this point is, what feels right to you at this moment? I can tell you that there are decisions that you either just know are right or know are wrong when you take the time to stop and ask yourself the question. Your intuition is good enough to tell you if you’re on the right path. So, listen to it. A lot of times, people make decisions only to look back and know at that moment they were making the wrong decision.

    Back to our childfree example, if you are not 100% committed to having a child, then why would you make that choice? Your body, your mind, and your soul will tell when the right time is to do something. All you have to do is listen. Let’s use a different example, one that maybe is less life altering.

A Conscious Choice Example

Let’s say you are contemplating looking for a new job. You have a job, and it’s fine. You are pretty content with life at this job. However, you know there is better opportunity out there. Should you start applying for new jobs? (The Problem)

If you started looking for new jobs, it’s likely you’ll need to interview. You’d possibly find something that is more exciting, more pay, and more fulfilling. Or, you could stay. Life is pretty good right now, you make decent pay, and it’s a steady job. (The Alternate Realities)

What is happening right now in your life that is pushing you to have this feeling? Well, you’re bored. You know that job hunting is fairly straightforward, you just need to make a few tweaks to get it right. You have the time right now to pursue this and as you reflected on earlier, there are many benefits and few consequences of finding a new job. (The Present Factor)

After you’ve analyzed all of this, you realize, it is the right time to look for a new job and you can confidently set out on this path to finding the right job.

Conscious choices are simple. They are just decisions made with intent. These choices have purpose and clarity behind them. On the other hand, unconscious choices are made unwillingly. They have no alternate realities, only the one that is destined to be. You trap yourself and limit your potential when you allow a choice to be made for you.

Imagine if you didn’t make the conscious choice to look for a new job. Rather, you just started looking with no plan. You didn’t factor in the present situation you’re in and you overlooked how busy you are getting at work and in your personal life. There’s no way you have time to update your resume, no time to prepare for interviews and the whole situation becomes overwhelming and sloppy.

You’ve now found yourself in a mess of emotions because you didn’t think through the situation. It’s really easy for us as a human race to do things impulsively. We make decisions all the time based just off of our feelings. If you’ve ever put your foot in your mouth, you’re well aware of how condemning this can feel.

With conscious choice, even the little things we do each day become more purposeful and graceful. For small decisions, you can skip writing down the problem, but never skip thinking about the alternate realities or considering how the present situations factors into this decision.

Try this out the next time you’re contemplating a decision and let me know in the comments how you think it worked!

5 Ways to Completely Change Your Day

In 2018, I thought waking up every morning was the hardest thing I had to do. I knew that with every sunrise, there would be heart ache, tears, and an unsurmountable feeling of missing my father. What happened after my dad passed away was a critical turning point in my life, and I truly believe it’s because I chose to do five things that, in their simplicity, never could I have imagined they would be so life altering. That was the most transformational year I’ve ever had.

I think my father’s impact on the world really struck me when I watched a grown man, who I had never met before, weep by father’s bed. He told me that without my dad, he would have never turned his life around after prison. It disturbed him to see such an amazing man be subjected to the cruelty of death by cancer. To this day, I don’t even know what it was that my dad did for him, but I could tell that man was as heartbroken as I was to see such a magical person fade from our world.

When I started to see the impact that my dad had on our neighborhood, his community, his friends, and our family, it was like a light had been taken out of everywhere I went. I went down to tell our local cafe staff that my dad was nearing the end, they all mourned. Our local tailor was distraught. Our neighbors never left our side until my dad finally passed. Every day during that period of time was misery.

If I was feeling this way each day, I couldn’t imagine what my sister and mother were feeling. I knew that I couldn’t fall prey to letting the darkness take me, because one of us had to make sure life moved forward.

Waking up every day with a positive attitude when nothing is wrong in your life, is easily taken for granted. You wake up, you do your routine, you get to work. But, during difficult times, it’s easy to forget how to get going. It’s even easy to forget why you need to get going. Hopelessness is a feeling I never want to welcome back into my life again.

At that time, I had been introduced to a TED Talk speaker and author name Shawn Achor. His book the Happiness Advantage really impacted me and my career during the time when my father was being treated for his cancer. It was difficult to balance a lot of things, but his book taught me to look at the world a little differently.

I came to realize that it’s not what life gives you, because trust me there are going to be a lot of lemons, but it’s how you handle what life gives you. Every bad situation can be flipped. Every horrible feeling can be overcome.

And so, I woke up one day on the couch next to my father’s bed. My mom and I spent nights sleeplessly watching him breathe. I stood up and I promised myself that I was going to do these five simple things every single day and that I would not allow our family to go into a depression or fall into problems because of what we went through. I wrote them down and I remembered my dad telling me to “be brave” before he couldn’t speak anymore.

5 Things to Do Each Morning

The Five Daily Habits

  1. Express Gratitude
    Each day I write down three things I’m grateful for. This is something Shawn Achor taught and I adopted it right away. Three things no matter how big or small, be grateful. Do this even when you don’t feel like writing anything down, it will totally change the rest of your day.
  2. Smile
    As previously mentioned, life is going to kick you in the a$$! That’s true for everyone. Some have it worse than others, but guaranteed that if you don’t appreciate every moment, and put a smile on your face each day, then it will only drag you deeper.
  3. Be Kind
    This is one of the most important things I believe anyone can learn to do. Being kind not just to others, but to your self is the greatest way to invite love and happiness into your life, especially in the bad times. If you’ve ever felt the sting of someone who was not kind to you, just think about how others may have received you. Remember, you don’t need the world to be kind to you first or in return. This is a gift you should learn to give everyone. Being kind to yourself includes eating healthy, meditating, doing yoga, and practicing things that make you feel good.
  4. Remember Your Vision
    On page one of my journal, I wrote down my goals for the next 6 months to 5 years. It’s important to really dig deep. Take an hour of undistracted time to really put some thought into these. Make sure write them down on paper, with a pen. This will help you commit. When you’ve written them all down, be sure to reflect on them at least once a week. Just reading them and remembering your reason for them will help you stay on the right path. It will give every action in your day purpose.
  5. Center Yourself
    Each day, I write down my “Thoughts” underneath my gratitudes list. This is my space for letting go of pent up feelings. It’s where I can brainstorm ideas for this blog, or reflect on events that recently happened. As you write down your thoughts, be as equally committed to sharing the good things as the bad things. If you feel it, share it. Sometimes, I like to go back and see what my train of thought was on a specific day. It helps to see where I was in relation to where I am now. I can tell you, it’s helped me to stay committed to decisions that have been important for me to push on in my life. It’s helped me recognize my priorities, my passions, and what I truly want out of life.

Everything you do in the morning is the setup for what will happen the rest of the day. Remember these 5 things, get a journal and just start at it! My favorite journals are Moleskins. You don’t need prompts or anything too fancy. Just write your goals, your gratitudes and your thoughts. Remember to be kind and wake up with a smile.

Living with Intention is the North Star for Your Life

by guest: Holly Krivo


Intention is the buzz word of all self-development but have you ever thought about what it truly means?

I love this definition of Intention: a determination to act in a certain way. 

It doesn’t leave much up to interpretation, a clear focus for action on what it is you want.                                                                                                                                                                        

Childfree and Intention

As a childfree human we have the added bonus of living for our own intention not having to factor in little humans. What a joy! The intention for your life is yours and yours alone. 

What are you going to do with this magnificent honor? 

Life happens quickly and if you don’t slow down and honor what it is you want for our life, the weeks, months and years fly by without you making any moves on your life.

Setting intentions and HONORING them is a daily practice so that you aren’t sitting somewhere years along the road, looking back at your life thinking what the heck did I do with my time? 

As childfree humans we get to define our own lives, often creating a life that is different from everything we see around us. Setting intentions is even more important for us so that we stay centered on what it is we want, shutting out the chatter and distractions around us to stay on track for the life we want.

  • Living with intention is waking up knowing who you want to be as a person and setting tangible goals to get there.
  • Living with intention is knowing without a doubt what you stand for, not letting life distract you from doing it.
  • Living with intention is setting boundaries for the things that don’t serve your life.
  • Living with Intention is your North star for creating your best life.

Setting intentions isn’t a fluffy, woo-woo idea. It’s critical for your success.

What does it mean for YOU to live intentionally?

And how can you commit today to action in staying in your intention? 

ABOUT OUR GUEST EXPERT:

Holly Krivo is a certified professional coach who specializes working with high-achieving women to trust themselves with what they want for their life by tuning out the chatter of the norm to create their own unique path. As a childfree woman, she is on fire to work with childfree woman to live their truest life. Also a big lover of chips & salsa and cocker spaniels. www.hollykrivo.com 

Apologies to the Mommy and Daddy Bloggers

There once was a time when I thought I didn’t know if I could ever understand why parents do what they do. I would get angry about all the children who didn’t have support systems, were kept unhealthy or unfed, or just didn’t get attention because their parents didn’t realize the cost of having children.

Then, I realized I was putting all parents into one category. I started to hate on the idea of parenting and looking at all the reasons why not to have kids for the sake of demonizing the choice. Yes, I know that’s completely unfair.

So, here’s my apology to the Mommy and Daddy Bloggers and how our Community will work to encapsulate and support all types of families – those childfree and those child filled.

Sorry to the Moms and Dads

The choice to become a parent isn’t an easy choice to all. Maybe it’s an intuition or a deep desire that encouraged you to make that first admission to your significant other or maybe just to yourself out loud. Some just know they want to be moms and dads, others aren’t sure until it clicks one day.

What I think I forgot to think about over the last few years is that the decision to become a parent is basically the same decision path of choosing to be child free. You go over the details painstakingly. Will I be able to afford this lifestyle? How will I raise a good human? It’s heart wrenching, nauseating (literally) and then there’s the birth. For those women choosing to put their bodies through all the work to have a baby, that’s a big decision.

So, where did I go wrong in putting you aside? I honestly can’t go back to the single moment, but I am so truly sorry. Your choices, your struggles, your journeys are vital to our society. They are arguably more important than the choices to be childfree. You are the reason that generations will continue. Your kids are our future and it starts with the decisions you make.

How the Community Supports You

As I was working through what this community stands for, I couldn’t stop thinking about the selfless actions of parents. The decisions that you make every day to be a good parent and the choices you have to make to ensure it all works out for their future is incredible. I started to realize that parents, whether birth parents, adoptive, foster, or even co-parents, need support systems!

The goal of the Intently Community is to drive conversations around conscious choice and intentional living, and how those ways of living impact our families, careers, and lifestyles.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to share your story about how you came to the decision to have kids? I think more people would love to hear it! By sharing these journeys, we can help others on their path to finding happiness and satisfaction out of life.

This is a place where all parents are welcome!

Motherhood vs Womanhood

Let’s break free from the idea that the word woman is synonymous with the word mother. Can we finally please teach children that just because girls were born with the instruments to give birth, they don’t have to give birth?

“Pro-Choice” apparently only applies to life or death. We don’t consider the choice to become a parent.

Finding Happiness in Being a Woman

Being a woman isn’t easy. If you’re out there reading this as a woman, you get it. There’s the awkwardness of being a young girl, learning about your body, learning about love, dealing with emotions and hormones, and so much more. It’s not something that is easy to deal with and those that have truly embraced their womanhood – you are goddesses!

My thoughts are that being a woman is a perfect storm of so many great things mixed with so many difficult things. But, I believe it makes us stronger. (Sorry guys.) One of those difficult things we deal with is giving birth. Our bodies have all the instruments to do so. It’s something that even as children our bodies start to prepare for. Each month, our bodies go through cycles that give us a new opportunity to get pregnant. It’s really incredible when you think about it.

But, what if I don’t want to use the instruments I was given? What if I want to continue living independent of the physiological time bomb that is my womb that prepares itself for new life each month?

Challenging biology can feel a little shameful sometimes, I’ll admit. It’s not easy to tell people of my choice. However, this decision to choose womanhood over motherhood has helped me see something more beautiful about who I am and what my relationship with my husband stands for.

Choosing to not become a parent yet or maybe ever has been a road of conflicting feelings and emotions. My body says one thing, but my brain and my heart tell me another. This conflict has created the perfect breeding ground for discovering happiness in being a woman. I am a woman with choice. I am a woman who is grateful for the circumstances in which I have to make this choice.

The Real Definition of Womanhood

One of my favorite quotes of all time is from the bold and beautiful Jennifer Aniston. In 2016, she did a brave thing and wrote an opinion piece for Huffpost entitled “For the Record”. In this piece, she set the record straight about all the tabloids creating rumors about her being pregnant. And, she wrote a beautiful commentary on what having choice and freedom is all about, especially as a woman.

We get to determine our own “happily ever after” for ourselves.

Jennifer Aniston, For The Record, Huffpost

People will always fall to stereotypes and generalities. Our human reaction is to always have a bias. So, for those that believe in first comes marriage, then comes baby, it’s likely they will always be the ones asking when the babies are coming. But, it’s time to change the conversation.

I highly recommend reading Jennifer’s commentary and if you feel so emboldened, help spread the word that womanhood does not mean motherhood.

How to Achieve Your Goals

Well, I had a meltdown this week thinking about my life path and whether I’ve been accomplishing goals. Has anyone else had these moments? Ok, I can’t see you raising your hand or nodding in agreement, but I know you have. I know you connect with this.

So, I decided to break out my journal where I keep most of my current projects and goals. I opened up page one and found something AMAZING!

There I found goals that I set in 2018 with a little note scribbled above them that says, “Review my goals daily.” Underneath that note, I wrote down six goals for that year, three goals to accomplish in two years, and three goals to accomplish in five years.

Guess what?! I basically accomplished all of my goals in 2018, save for one. And after two years, I successfully checked off two of my three goals as of April!

More importantly, as I look to the five year goals I set, I already have accomplished one and the other two, I’m well on track to achieve, as well.

Settings Goals

These are not simple, easy goals. These goals require lifestyle changes. The best types of goals do. They challenge you to be different and do things in a new way.

I decided to set goals that challenged me to be better in many ways and learn new things. For instance, one of my five year goals I set was to get promoted to the Director of the department that I work in currently.

When I set this goal, my career took a forward leap. I started to really apply myself and work hard, and I learned a lot about leadership. My eye was on that goal and it happened! I believed it would, and it happened early than I expected.

Another one of my five year goals is to get an MBA. I’m well on that as well, graduating in 2022.

Forgetting About Goals

The best part about all of this is that I forgot about these goals the last few months. I didn’t review them every day. I set them and for a long time I worked on achieving them, but then I lost my way.

My lesson here is to share and explain that sometimes it’s OK to lose your way. It’s OK to get off track and not really know what direction you’re going in right now. But, find your way back!

Find your way to those goals you set and remind yourself of what you wanted to accomplish when you were on the right path.

It’s incredible how the universe works and how creating habits to achieve your goals carries you through time. I made some important routines to achieve my goals, and because I did that and put in the work, I accomplished my goals despite forgetting I had set them.

The key to this is not to just set a goal and hope that life will carry you to the finish line. Rather, decide what lifestyle changes you have to make to get there in one, two, and five years.

Make those life changes, become better along the way and discover that you will accomplish what you’ve set your mind to. You can do it, but you have to do the work.

If you need a little help starting your goal planning, try this method – Objectives and Key Results. It’s a tried and tested method that is used by companies like Google and the one I work at now, but can definitely be applied to your personal goals. Check out this TED Talk that shares how it’s done.

What Childfree by Choice Means

Instagram bloggers talk about a childfree afternoon, or a child free vacation, but it means something completely different than “child free by choice.”

Childfree by choice means choosing to not have children, whether at the moment, for a period of time or forever.  

Why “By Choice”? 

By choice is not to be confused with another reason some people don’t have children. Most commonly, this reason is involuntarily due to infertility. “By choice” is different because it’s a decision, not forced. These are very different meanings and uses of the term childfree. I have no understanding of what this feels like and the decisions or thoughts that someone has when dealing with infertility, so I want to make very clear that being childfree by choice is something very different. 

Now, it’s possible for someone who can’t have children to also be childfree by choice. Adoption or surrogacy are two viable and fantastic options for people who want children and can’t have them physically themselves. But, there may be couples out there who can’t have children and also choose not to have them.  

Does Childfree by Choice Have to be Forever?

The great part about being human and living in a country that gives us freedom of choices is that a decision we make doesn’t necessarily have to live with us forever. Accordingly, a life without children doesn’t have to be a forever decision. Unless you’ve decided to have a procedure that prevents children forever, options and modern medicine have made it possible to have children much later in life.

Conscious choice is a big topic of discussion and something I won’t get into here. Just know that the decisions you make now set you up for the future you want. If in your future, you know it’s the right time to have children, maybe you’ve changed your mind and found that it’s the direction you want to go, that’s ok. But, the goal is to make sure you are ready for that big decision. Really think about what your life will become with kids. If you still want to go forward with it, then you’ve done the soul searching and you’re committed.

What if I change my mind and it’s too late?

Ah, the age old question and fear of making a decision you’ll regret. This is where serious feelings start to creep into the conversation. No amount of joking around helps cover this terrible feeling for me. Our human nature compels us to feel this way. Hence, I’m sure you feel the same way or have felt the same way before.

To be honest, a lot of people fear making a regretful decision. Read this article, if you’re one of these people. Truthfully, it’s one of my main reasons for not committing to a child-free forever. Talk about commitment issues. This is a big factor. 

But, this article gives me some power. My favorite takeaway is that by making choices we may regret in the future, we are demonstrating the ultimate freedom of making our own life. Hernandes, writer of this Lifehack article says, “Every decision gives you the opportunity to take credit for creating your own life.” Isn’t that so beautifully true?

How Do I Choose to be Child Free?

It’s simple. Do something about it. Make a statement and don’t hide it. Above all, talking about this choice with your significant other or someone you are in a serious relationship with is an important step. You should never hide your desire to be childfree, if this is something you’re serious about. Undoubtedly, children are an important decisions in relationships. Consequently, this decision should be a mutual agreement. 

Creating Confidence Through Honesty

I know it’s difficult to talk about it with people. Trust me. The questions about when I will have children have continued to come in steadily since I was in my early twenties. I have a feeling these questions will never end. But, it’s my hope that through this blog and more publicizing of the ability to choose, more people will learn to accept it. 

Getting passed the first few odd looks and concerned “oh, you’ll change your mind” statements is the hardest part. The judgements will come, as we live in a world where through the baby boomer generation people just had kids, no questions. But, we have to stay confident. We need to stand firm in our decisions. We must be proud of the decisions we make about our bodies and our lives. Otherwise, who are we really living for? 

Start With Someone You Don’t Know

In the end, talk about it with someone you can trust or someone who isn’t close to you and your situation. An unbiased listener is always a great way to start building confidence.

Feel free to drop me a message and tell us your story. We believe in choices and whatever your choice is, it’s special – it’s yours. 

Conscious Choice: What is it?

There’s a deeper purpose to this blog than you may know. It’s to inspire you to think through your decisions and to learn to live by making conscious choices.

What are conscious choices? Maybe it is waking up every day with a smile on your face, choosing happiness. It’s a well-informed, active decision. It’s something you do with a pure heart’s intention.

The key to living this way isn’t just waking up and letting life happen to you. Sitting on the couch believing a higher power is going to plop greatness into your lap is about as effective as never getting out of bed.

One of my favorite authors and speakers, Joyce Meyer, has a particular thing she preaches about often. It is this idea of waiting for God to make a change in your life.

Don’t wait around waiting for God to do something that He’s already given you the power to do.

Joyce Meyer

What people so often mistake for having faith in what is supposed to happen, is really passiveness in life. Maybe it’s not laziness exactly, but it’s definitely a form of being unassertive.

You have all the power you need to do what you desire in life and to be the person you want to be. Are you making active strides toward fulfilling it?

The Power of Conscious Choice

It’s not an easy thing to make more aware decisions. Often, by making more conscious choices we have to give up things that make us temporarily happy.

There’s a level of self control involved with this heightened state. You begin to make choices not for an immediate gratification, but for a future purpose.

When you practice skillful decision-making, endless options are no longer a distraction or a pull. Instead, you come to perceive options relative to your value-inspired goals and trust your ability to create options and make important decisions.

from Want a Life with Purpose? Make Conscious Choices featured on thriveglobal.com

This blog post is simple and short for a reason. Begin to think about how you’re making decisions in your life.

Are you just sitting around letting the world push and pull you in the direction it chooses, or are you stepping into your role as the active driver of your future?

Take some time to think about conscious choice and really start to explore what it means.