Numero Uno

1 is the basic building block of our number system; a single identity; a unit. The first positive integer, 1 is neither prime nor composite.

In mathematics, 1 is also the only number for which these facts are true (so says Wikipedia):

  • Any number n multiplied by 1 equals that number: n × 1 = n, example 7 × 1 = 7.
  • Any number n divided by 1 equals that number: n / 1 = n, example: 7 / 1 = 7.
  • Any number n, other than 0, divided by itself always equals 1: n / n = 1, example: 7 / 7 = 1.
  • 1 cannot be divided with any other number so that the result is a natural number.

The significance of the number one is seen throughout philosophy, numerology, science, and technology. It can be seen as solitary and lonely; while independent, 1 serves as the foundation for the other natural numbers. Simple yet profound.

Numero Uno, though technically Spanish and Italian for number one, is generally an English reference to the very best or most important one.

In my research of alternatives to New Year’s resolutions, I came across the concept of choosing ONE positive word to focus your efforts in the upcoming year: your numero uno word. If the idea of outlining a list of SMART goals is daunting, or perhaps you’re discouraged by a track record of failed resolutions, then the Word of the Year approach could be a great strategy.

I didn’t make any resolutions last year and wasn’t in a mental place where I felt compelled to outline big goals and plans. BUT – as the foggy spring gave way to summer, I began to focus on the word CLARITY. Months and several major habit shifts later, my mindset is quite different and I feel like I’m achieving far more clarity on multiple levels. Thus, I feel confident in recommending the Word of the Year approach as a great starting point for setting intentions for personal growth in 2020.

Since I’m currently feeling highly motivated and ambitious, I’ve decided to outline my 2020 goals for the year personally and professionally, then am breaking down the months and weeks to focus on specific action steps and habits I want to explore adding, subtracting, or multiplying over the course of the next year. I’ve never mapped out my goals to this level of detail, and it feels a bit counter to my typical inclinations. I intend to leave a large degree of flexibility in scheduling my monthly and weekly aspirations for 2020, and plan to implement regular weekly and monthly check ins to evaluate progress and devise shorter term game plans as the year unfolds.

All of this focus on the idea of the value of one also reminded me of the book and podcast “The ONE Thing” by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan of Keller Williams realty. The premise is to simplify and focus your priorities by asking “What is the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” It’s a powerful tool for productivity and regaining control of your time, and a question I have recently begun asking myself as I cultivate awareness of how I allocate my time in an energizing manner vs. a draining fashion.

How about you? Do you have a defining singular word? Or any experience using The ONE Thing method to guide your decision making? Are you compelled to read Keller’s #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling book to unpack this further? After listening to several inspiring podcasts about The ONE Thing, I’m going to put this one on my reading list for sure.