Because something is not in direct awareness does not mean it does not exist.
There is no change without a decision. It might not be a hugely conscious process, sometimes it happens, just outside of awareness. The decision is still there however. And there's meaning to it. The bigger the decision, the more meaning plays a role.
The really important piece here though is that the decision will need to be enacted in someway in the future until the new choice becomes automatic, a part of who we are and how we see ourselves.
I've met folk who have given up some quite significant drug challenges. The mental imagery was there, right at the decision point.
It was the maintenance and the associated reshaping of life however that for me speaks to just how powerful our minds are. We make decisions and sometimes quit on them. Other times, we make decisions and that's it, job done. Powerful stuff.