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make good choices {there’s an app for that}

    It’s a phrase that often leaves my lips …

    … when they head out the door in the morning … when they’re about to get themselves into trouble … when we leave them with a babysitter or drop them for a playdate with a friend …


    Make Good Choices.

    It requires knowing between good and bad and acting consciously rather than impulsively  {which for an eight-year-old boy is very, very challenging!}. Nevertheless, it’s a life skill that will make a big difference in each one of my childrens’ lives and I hope we can encourage them to choose their actions, their words, their reactions wisely.

    The funny thing is that while this saying most often pertains to the big moral decisions in life, it also applies to the little choices. What snack to choose. Who to sit next to on the bus. Turning off the reading light at a reasonable time of night. And it’s not just for the kids – I think of this all the time for me, too.

    Ryan and I laugh sometimes because we are not always the best decision makers. Not that we make bad choices per say {although getting a dog is debatable}, but it’s the little things – the neutral choices – that get us. Standing in the cereal aisle trying to choose is like mini-torture for my husband. We search and search and search for cars or appliances or anything, really, before purchasing not so much in the name of research, but more for the lack of simply making a choice. And then there’s that dreaded moment in all relationships: “where do you want to go for dinner?” “I don’t know. Where do you want to go?” “I don’t care. You decide”. “No, you.”

    But you know what really hung us up in the decision-making field more than anything? Naming our children. Specifically our No.2. He went 8 days nameless because we just could not decide. Finally, the hospital called us requiring that we give our poor child a name so he could officially have a birth certificate and so we made a few phone calls for final weigh-ins and made the big decision.

    My cousin married a brilliant man who does smart things like develop apps to help us make big and little decisions – and to make them wisely. I know, totally brainy.  If only it was around when our little baby was in need of a name.

    His app is called ChoiceMap and it’s super fun. AND helpful. And free.


    He developed an algorithm to help calculate what percentage of perfect different options are for your specific decision. There are lots of preset templates {notice which one I gave input on!}, but also options to create your own based on a specific decision you need to make. You specify criteria, rank by importance and the app will tell you which decision is mathematically the right choice.

    It’s just one more way to make good choices.

    To download the app head to the itunes store or click here.



    19 thoughts on “make good choices {there’s an app for that}”

    1. I downloaded this app around the time of your post and I found it exceptionally helpful!
      I would love to use it again, however, it is gone from iTunes and the App Store!! Is there any chance your developer cousin-in-law is running this under another name? I really miss this app!!
      Thanks for sharing it and thanks for any thoughts.

    2. Thanks so much for this – tried it out last night and a fantastic tool, used it for a work decision and my techy/infographic-loving husband looked over my shoulder (wondering what all my iPad tapping and sliding was about!!) and was impressed! Then one of our children discovered it too and thought was fab – talk about cross-generational appeal!!

      Your lovely blog is an inspiration – so lovely, thank you!! (Is that enough ‘lovely’s?! It’s late on this side of the pond – my excuse! :) ).

    3. I am very intrigued by this app. However, I had trouble downloading it. Not sure if it was me or the app but I got a strange message and then was asked more than once for my Apple ID. At that point I decided to cancel the transaction. =(

      LOVE your blog.

    4. I love this conversation, and I love the saying…we adopted it from my husbands side of the family where his Mom would say it to him all the time. We say it to our girls now and I love the print…I think we will be ordering! It’s so timely as we are all really thinking about our choices as we head into the New Year.

    5. Immediately went to my iPad and could not find this app. So….I downloaded it on my PC through iTunes, but then still couldn’t open it. Went to settings on iPad and it said I needed to subscribe to iTunes Match ($24.99 per year). Does this sound right or did I miss something. I do not have an iPhone. Help! I would really like to try the app.

    6. Would love to see this on Android! What a great idea (coming from someone who makes decisions as infrequently as possible).

    7. I totally laughed at your dog comment! We are adapting to life with a 15 week old Goldendoodle and not a day goes by that I don’t wonder what the (blank) I was thinking. She’s the sweetest thing her but she sure has turned our calm life upside down!

    8. I say this to my kids every morning when I drop them off for school. I didn’t know you had it in print. I suppose I will be making a purchase soon.

    9. Sometimes I need to hear that no matter what decision I make, it will be ok, and deeper more, that I’m still loved. Knowing that unconditional love makes me a far better (and freer and kinder) decision maker than trying to find the “right” decision. It also puts the focus on the love and what it does instead of my decision making skills.

    10. Emily, I just came back from a road trip with my two grandchildren, 17 (girl) and almost 11 (boy), some events occurred while we were gone – serious events and I was stressing to them how important it is to make good choices NOW because we will live with the consequences of the wrong choices for the rest of our lives (don’t I know at 63). Great topic and a crucial one to discuss with children of any age. “Make Good Choices.” Amen.

    11. Is that a printable? We’ve been focusing on being kind the past couple of months and making good choices could be our new addition. Having the same turmoil over a name for our 3rd boy on the way… still have a couple of months but no names on the list :/ a name is such a huge decision…

    12. It’s so nice to know that other 8 year olds are struggling with this. We’ve beed talking a lot about making good choices in our family too. This year I gave my girls a present in honor of Jesus. It is a wonderful book about making good choices titled “Why am I here?” by Matthew Kelly. It’s read nearly every day individually or together. And my oldest now thinks in terms of good choice or not–most of the time.

      Thanks for sharing.

    13. Love this! And that it took 8 days to name #2! Names are a big deal, I mean it’s only who they are for the rest of their lives! Ha
      Thanks for sharing! Downloading now!

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