There’s no denying it’s been a tough year for Facebook COO and Lean In author Sheryl Sandberg. Last May, her husband Dave Goldberg passed away during a family vacation to Mexico. In her own words, Sheryl became a young widow, a member of a “club that no one wants to join.” We’ve grieved for Sheryl this year, and now we stand with her in hope for a joyful new year as we reflect on her Facebook post yesterday about her New Year’s resolution for 2016.
Sheryl shared some amazing photos of a group of women she calls her “Lean In Circle of childhood girlfriends” and wrote that this time last year, they’d all shared their New Year’s resolutions with one another. They pledged to support one another and hold each other accountable throughout the year. Sheryl’s resolution going into 2015 was to meditate for 10 minutes each day, but after her husband’s death, just making it through the day was its own challenge.
In her post, she wrote, “When my husband, Dave, passed away last spring, my whole notion of plans crumpled. I stopped trying to meditate, but my connection to this group of friends was one of the things that helped pull me through. They checked in daily. Even though they live across the country, they showed up early and often. They did not just hold me as I cried—they cried with me.” We’re co-signing this so hard: We need connections with other human beings. We need to know that no matter what happens, we’re not alone in this world, in life.
After Dave’s death, author Adam Grant (another of Sandberg’s amazing friends) gave her a piece of advice that we absolutely love. He suggested that at the end of every day she should write down three things she did well that day. Sandberg said that on her darker days it was a challenge, and sometimes one of those three things would be the simple act of making herself a cup of tea. But as she continued the practice of writing those three things down, she gradually began to find her confidence again. And with confidence came joy.
Ultimately, her resolution for 2016 is this: “I want to continue this practice, so my New Year’s resolution is to write down three joyful moments each day. To quote my favorite singer, Bono, joy is the ultimate act of defiance…I will try to focus on finding joy in the mundane and the profound —joy in the small things that make my children smile, joy in the moments of friendship that might otherwise pass by unnoticed, joy in the ability to appreciate the gift of life in a way I never did before.”
We can’t think of a more beautiful mindset for the new year. We’re amazed and inspired by Sheryl and the grace with which she lives her life. Here’s to a joyful 2016. For all of us.
Image via Sheryl Sandberg/Facebook.