Ep #239: Make 2024 A Should-Free Year

The Widowed Mom Podcast Krista St-Germain | Make 2024 a Should-Free Year

What would it be like if you never believed the “should” thoughts in your brain?

What if, every time one appeared, you simply replied with, “No thank you”?

I’m no longer interested in entertaining “should” thoughts, and I believe we can intentionally choose what we want without them. Join me today to learn how to embark on a should-free year in 2024.


Listen to the Full Episode:

If you want to create a future you can truly get excited about even after the loss of your spouse, I invite you to apply for Mom Goes On.


What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Some common “should” thoughts we unconsciously believe.
  • Why we feel inclined to “should” all over ourselves, especially in the New Year.
  • How to make 2024 a should-free year.


Featured on the Show:

  • Leave me a review in Apple Podcasts.
  • Interested in small-group coaching? Join us in Mom Goes On. Click here for details and next steps.
  • Join my free Facebook group, The Widowed Mom Podcast Community.
  • Follow me on Instagram!
  • If you are a Life Coach School certified coach, I’m working on an Advanced Certification in Grief and Post-Traumatic Growth Coaching just for you. If this sounds like something you would love, email us to let us know you want in on the interest list to be notified when it launches!
  • I send out several pick-me-up emails each week including announcements and details for free live coaching sessions. Enter your email in the pop-up on my home page to sign up.
  • The widows in my coaching program shared their advice and encouragement for new widows in this new book, Dear New Widow. Get your copy here!


Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to The Widowed Mom Podcast, episode 239, Make 2024 A Should-Free Year.

Welcome to The Widowed Mom Podcast, the only podcast that offers a proven process to help you work through your grief, to grow, evolve, and create a future you can truly look forward to. Here’s your host, Master Certified life coach, grief expert, widow, and mom, Krista St-Germain.

Hi, this is Angela, one of Krista’s podcast producers. Krista asked our team to pick an episode to re-air this week that we thought would be helpful to hear again. We decided to go with one from a few holiday seasons ago about how we tend to should on ourselves when it comes to setting new year’s resolutions and why we need to stop. She’s inviting us to put down the shoulds and embark on a should free year instead. Happy holidays and please enjoy.

Hey there, welcome to another episode of the podcast. I am recording this one before Christmas so that it will be ready for you and so that I can take some time off for the holidays and let my brain think about non-business things. I hope you’re doing the same between Christmas and New Year’s because we need to unplug. We need to take time away, and I plan to do just that. I am not completely sure what we’re going to do yet. 

But the boyfriend and I are considering a trip to Nashville and Memphis because that’s only a day’s drive from where we live in Kansas, and I don’t want to deal with commercial airports this time of year. Unfortunately, I only worked for their jet. I didn’t actually get one when I worked there, and driving seems like a much better way to go. But someday I’m going to make enough money that we can just rent a jet, wouldn’t that be fun just to rent a jet? 

It’s been a while, but I am telling you that there is nothing like it from having gotten to fly in business jets when working in aviation. It is so awesome not to have to go through security and not have to go through the baggage check, and sometimes when you fly internationally, customs actually gets on the plane with you and walks you through your process. You don’t have to deal with any of it, and it’s fantastic.

So, it’s a fun goal to think about someday, but we’ll just drive for this trip and figure it out as we go. Okay, are you ready to talk about a should-free year? You ready, okay, so I have created a new rule for this year. No should, that is my rule. I officially declare that this year is a should-free year, meaning a year free of shoulds. So, I want to invite you to join me. You might be wondering what in the H E double hockey sticks I am talking about.

So, let me explain. I want you to imagine what it would be like if you never believed the should thoughts in your brain? Imagine if every time a should thought appeared, you just told your brain, no, thank you. No, thank you. We’re not doing that this year. By the way, that’s the voice the dog trainer is teaching us to use with our dogs, no thank you, when they do something we don’t want, no thank you. It’s not mean it’s not mad, and it’s actually quite friendly. 

We’re giving them the message that it is not what we’re going to do. No, thank you. So, I want you to count how many of these should-thoughts sound familiar to you? Give yourself a little tick mark for each should thought that sounds familiar. I am going to give you a whole list because you might not even know what I am talking about. So, I am going to tell you quite specifically. Are you ready?

Okay, I should be further along in my grief. I should just be happy for what I had and get used to my new normal. I should be less angry. I should spend more quality time with my kids. I should be happier. I should be more patient. I should call my mother, father, sister, brother, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, best friend, it’s a long list, but I should call them. I should lose weight. I should exercise more. I should be more confident. I should be more positive. I should be more grateful. I should set a better example. 

Some of these even feel noble, don’t they? I should be more organized. I should be more productive. I should be more empathetic. I should be less grumpy. I should save more money. I should drink less alcohol. I should drink more water. I should trust better. I should be better with money. I should be less needy. I should accomplish the goals that I set or set more goals. Are these sounding familiar?

I should finish what I start. I should spend less time on social media. I should make more home-cooked meals. I should get out more. I should have more hobbies. I should smile more. I should go to church more. I should be nicer to people. I should have a stronger faith. I should stop worrying about what other people think. I should do better. I should be better. I should, and I should, I should, how many shoulds did you count? 

How many of those should-thoughts are familiar? Are they showing up in your brain? I am going to be honest though, that was an easy list for me to generate because I am familiar with all of those shoulds, most of them anyway. They were showing up directly in my brain, or for sure in my clients’ brains. But a lot of them show up in my brain—so many shoulds. And so, this year, I just want to say to those shoulds, no more. No more. No more, no thank you. No, thank you. 

And I know that some of them seemed noble. I know that some of them can seem useful. Here’s what I believe is the truth: no should will make you a better human. No should will make you more lovable. No should will make you a better parent. Shoulds don’t make us anything except you know what the shoulds really make us? Insecure, doubtful, insignificant, obligated shoulds make us feel trapped, resentful, tired, sad. Shoulds make us feel less than.

Shoulds block us from the truth. The truth is that you are amazing, worthy, wonderful, talented, beautiful, capable, resilient, and perfectly imperfect. That’s the truth. When you’re so busy should-ing on yourself, you can’t see it. Should thoughts feel like shit. Pardon the expletive, but they do. So, we’re about to come on a New Year, right? And if your brain is like most brains and you’re listening to all the New Year’s messaging, you will likely feel inclined to should on yourself in the name of New Year’s resolutions. 

Please don’t do it. Please don’t do this to yourself. If you want to set your intention to do something because you want to do it, I am all in. If you want to do something because you choose to do something, yes. But I am not interested in the shoulds this year. The shoulds will show up in our brains. It’s not that they’re not going to show up; they are. But when we see them, we say no thank you; no thank you. And we choose what we want on purpose without shoulds.

Okay, alright, remember I love you, you’ve got this, take care, and I will see you next year.

If you like what you’ve been hearing on this podcast and want to create a future you can truly get excited about even after the loss of your spouse, I invite you to join my Mom Goes On coaching program. It’s small group coaching just for widowed moms like you where I’ll help you figure out what’s holding you back and give you the tools and support you need so you can move forward with confidence. Please don’t settle for a new normal that’s less than what you deserve. Go to coachingwithkrista.com and click Work With Me for details and next steps. I can’t wait to meet you.

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About your coach

I created a new life using small, manageable steps and techniques that made sense. The changes I experienced were so profound I became a Master Certified Life Coach and created a group coaching program for widows like us called Mom Goes On. It’s now my mission to show widowed moms exactly how to do what I’ve done and create a future they can look forward to.

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