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My word right now is Warrior. Whenever I need to tap into my inner strength I focus on that word. Before warrior, it was faith. For a long time it was strength.  Do you have a word?

The beauty of picking a word to focus on is that you can pick a new word whenever you need something new in your life. You’ll know when it’s time to pick a new word. I always find that toward the end of my time focused on the previous word, a new one starts popping up everywhere I look, as though my old word is pointing the way to the new. I’ll never be completely done with this process. Each season of my life brings new challenges, feelings, and circumstances that require a new version of me, and I find myself reaching for words I thought I’d retired. Heck, sometimes I even focus on more than one word at a time. I might need strength and faith to get through a difficult season. Or maybe I need love and create to get me out of a slump and onto something new.

When you feel ready to let your word go, you’ll know. Your word will have taught you everything you needed for this moment, and you’ll be ready to move on to something else. You’ll hear it and feel it woven into all the parts of your story, ready for you to draw on it again if you need it. You’ll feel excited about the challenge of a new word and all it could mean for your career, relationships, goals, and habits. When I pick a new word, I’m always ready to shout it out to the world. It always feels like a fresh start just brimming with possibility.

Here are some words. Take what you need.

Dream            

Who we’ll be tomorrow is not defined by who we were yesterday. Each of us has the potential to grow and change all of the time. What takes us from where we are now to where we want to be are our dreams—for ourselves, for what we want, and for our dreams for the world around us.

Our ability to dream is what keeps us alive and growing, thriving and striving. Without dreaming, we’d all stay in the same place, just reacting to what life throws at us. Instead, we dream, and those dreams lead to plans, which lead to steps, which lead to action, which lead to change. When you choose dream as your word, you are choosing to cast a vision for your future. You are choosing to take a serious, honest dive into your heart, and then paint a picture for yourself of what you really want your life to look like. And if the life you’ve been living doesn’t look like the life you’ve been dreaming, you are choosing to do the work to chase those dreams until reality and your dreams align.

Inspire

What you say and do and share has the power to inspire, impact, and heal others’ hearts. When you choose inspire as your word, you are committing to get inspired and then to share your unique story and your thoughts to inspire others. Meditating on this word is about reminding yourself that you have love and wisdom to share with the people in your life, both the ones you see every day and the ones you might connect with via social media or other outlets all over the world. Think about how you feel when you connect with someone’s story and it leaves a tangible mark on your life. What if you could do the same for someone else? There is someone out there who needs to hear what you have to say, so let’s get inspired and start sharing!

If you don’t feel terribly inspired, then it can feel daunting to just up and go find inspiration. Don’t worry; choosing inspire as your word doesn’t mean you have to be 100 percent inspired all the time. There will be days when you are bursting with ideas and energy, and days when the only thing you feel inspired to do is pour yourself another cup of coffee. But even on your most blah days, there are things you can do to feel more motivated about this quest. The trick is to get into the habit of prioritizing these practices in your day-to-day routine so you spend more time inspired than not.

Create            

Create is such a beautiful, freeing, colorful, juicy, fabulous, bold, exciting word! I can’t think of another word that is so filled with possibility. For me, it’s about being free. When I focus on create, I allow myself to meander and take my time, eyes opened wide to drink in the colors, sounds, and unique intricacies of my life. I look for what sets my soul ablaze with beauty, and let that guide me to dance, paint, sing, write, and generally pour myself into something special.

Even if you don’t feel like a traditionally creative person, you still have the power to create with your words, your body, and your actions. As you go through your days, you are radiating life and energy into the world that can create a powerful ripple effect. Only you can create that particular ripple. I have seen people benefit the most from focusing on create when they harness freedom and energy and use it to make some- thing new. That’s what create is all about—opening up your heart and then following where it leads. This is the word to pick if you are feeling stuck, down, or low on energy. This is the word that will shake you up and help you see the world around you differently.

Strength                    

Strength has always been The Giving Keys’ top-selling word. It’s so interesting because it shows that strength is what most people feel they need most. And I get it. I think most people feel weak and out of control in the face of the pain and hardships that inevitably come our way. We all hope that we have a well of strength deep enough to not only get us through hard times, but to also allow us to emerge triumphantly with our heads held high with resilient confidence. Choosing strength as your word can help you find and nurture your own strength and remind you that you are strong when you forget.

Remember, we need all of these words in different seasons of life. So if you are struggling to choose your next focus and nothing is jump- ing out at you, choose a word that feels like something you want more of in your life, or a word that reminds you of a quality you already have but may forget about sometimes, or even the word that seems like the most fun to you. There is no wrong answer here.

Adapted from Every Word Matters by Caitlin Crosby. Read the rest of her book here!

Caitlin is the founder of The Giving Keys, a jewelry company with the mission of helping its employees transition out of homelessness. She is the author of Every Word Matters and You Are the Key, and the co-host of the Real Good Company podcast. She was named among Oprah’s SuperSoul 100 list of visionaries in 2016 and featured on The Today Show, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar and many other media outlets. Caitlin lives with her two children in LA, and you can connect with her on Instagram @caitlincrosby and www.thegivingkeys.com.

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Caitlin Crosby

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