The short answer is that the path is not about choices, nor even sankaras [there is no sammāsaṅkhāra], it is about effort to reject ''thinking imbued with sensuality, thinking imbued with ill will, & thinking imbued with harmfulness'' and to follow ''thinking imbued with renunciation, thinking imbued with non-ill will, & thinking imbued with harmlessness '' [and avoiding the confusion by a few puthujjanas of the ''kamma that is neither dark nor bright with neither dark nor bright result, leading to the ending of kamma'' with ''the kamma that is bright with bright result''] by ''Being resolved on renunciation, on freedom from ill-will, on harmlessness: This is called right resolve.'' https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn45/sn45.008.than.html which leads to ''right samadhi'' instead of wrong samadhi
But later on the training, those efforts become easier and the path is not even about wishing nor effort. Ideally, the path does not resort on ''exertion'' or wishes, or will, because the path is conditioned too, https://suttacentral.net/an11.2/en/sujato , and once a puthujjana only wants to stop dukkha, the observation that ''thinking imbued with sensuality has arisen in me; and that leads to my own affliction or to the affliction of others or to the affliction of both. It obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to Unbinding.''' kills the bad thoughts automatically.
And when the ''body was calm & unaroused'', the ''mind concentrated & single. Quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities,'' the jhanas occurs naturally, through the joy of being moral and having sama sankappas [or vitakka] : saṅkappas of nekkhamma, saṅkappas of abyāpāda, saṅkappas of avihiṃsā. http://www.buddha-vacana.org/sutta/samyutta/maha/sn45-008.html
Puthujjanas fail completely to see that joy springs from morality and renunciation. Puthujjanas also confuse the sama sankappas with compassion and love, because those puthujjanas are stuck between their moronic dichotomy of egotism-selflessness and they create the view that the negation of ''thinking imbued with sensuality, thinking imbued with ill will, & thinking imbued with harmfulness'' is the sankara which leads to ''the kamma that is bright with bright result'' which the sankara of compassion and unconditional love and feeling sad that destitute puthujjanas do not have the means to enjoy themselves. These puthujjanas completely skip the ''intention, aspiration, thought, resolve, of sensual desire''... and thus fails to ''understand the reward of renunciation,'' https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an09/an09.041.than.html which is exactly what is needed to get into jhana.
once this is done, there is control over the citta:
**'Monks, endowed with seven things, a monk makes the mind turn according to his wish and turns not by the mind's wish.
Herein, monks, a monk is skilled in samadhi, skilled in attaining it,
skilled in maintaining it, skilled in emerging from it, skilled in the
well-being of it, skilled in the range of it, skilled in applying
Verily, monks, endowed with these seven things a monk makes the mind
turn according to his wish and turns not by the mind's wish.**
A few puthujjanas are obsessed with the word agency and choices and what they call ''the doer'' when they speculate about atta and anatta, especially the puthujjanas who created their ''dry insight'' doctrine. THose people are obsessed with vibrations and ''lack of agency''.
They created 4 paths. Each path is an awakening by what they call ''a cessation'' and the path 4 is nibanna when the ''lack of agency'' becomes manifest.
As usual with anything imagined by puthujjanas, it has nothing to do with the dhamma. A sotapanna knows already perfectly this ''lack of agency''.
Words like "freely/willingly choose" and determinism are bad words created by puthujjanas who cling to philosophy, to vitakka+vicara+papanca, be it ''buddhist'' or not, then they create their moronic dichotomies, like ''free will''-determinism and then they mix their dichotomies with morality, only to be left stuck on one side of their dichotomy [they love to polarize their opposite ideas, like ''choosing'' is good and ''not choosing'' is turned into ''suffering''[meaning bearing something], into 'enduring'' something [that is not willed] which means it is bad].
Do not rely on ideas created by puthujjanas to understand the dhamma, until you manage to find a buddha who expresses the dhamma with their words...
Most of the ideas of the puhtuhjannas are bad and when the dhamma is expressed with their words, the buddha use their words against them. Like the fire worshipers that the buddha met, mentioned in ''the fire sermon''. THose puhtujjanas worshiped fire, reified fire, idealized it, they created a whole doctrine about the cosmos with the vocabulary of fire. Then the buddha arrives and tell them that fire is bad and the holy life is to destroy this fire. hence nirvana has the putting out of fire.
There were puthujjanas in greece who said that ''everything was water''. If the buddha met them, he would have said ''yeah everything is water, and water is bad and the goal is to dry everything that is wet'' [typically, to dry the flow of asavas].