Sheryl Sandberg's New Year's Resolution Is One That Everyone Should Take On
Sheryl Sandberg is ending a tragic year in perhaps the most positive way possible, and she's starting 2016 the same way. Early on Wednesday (early enough that it was probably still Tuesday at her California home), Sandberg revealed her New Year's resolution in a touching Facebook post that honored her late husband, who died earlier this year, as well as her friends and the many other women whom she hopes to empower. The Facebook executive and author of Lean In has always had good advice, but this piece might just take the cake.
In 2016, Sandberg plans to take time each day to write down three things she did well that day. It's a habit that she developed at the encouragement of a friend this year after the sudden death of her husband, Dave Goldberg, in May. She said that doing so helped her feel more confident following the tragedy.
When I first lost Dave, I felt overwhelmed with just getting through each day. My friend Adam Grant suggested that every night before bed I write down three things I did well that day. ... 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."
As one of the most influential women in the country, Sandberg has little to lose her confidence over. Yet the fact that she said her habit "helped me rebuild my confidence" shows that even the women we praise as the strongest have to remind themselves that they deserve a pat on the back every now and then. Now that Sandberg is sharing her resolution with the rest of the world, it's clear that she intends for all women — and men — to give themselves that same pat on the back when they need it most.
Sandberg also revealed her 2015 New Year's resolution, which she had trouble keeping (but who doesn't have trouble keeping those resolutions?). In 2015, she wanted to meditate for 10 minutes each day. She enlisted the help of her Lean In Circle, made up of her childhood girlfriends, to keep herself accountable. Unfortunately, her meditation fell by the wayside when Dave passed away. In 2016, she'll call on her Lean In Circle once again, to keep her accountable and to help her find joy each day.
Sandberg is a role model in so many ways. She has worked her way to one of the highest positions in business today, shattering a glass ceiling in the tech industry. She has worked, through her book and beyond, to help other women shatter their own glass ceilings. Now, she's encouraging women to help one another find not just success, but joy.
We all need people who encourage us, believe in us, and remind us that we are not alone. For women, this kind of support can be especially important in navigating our lives and pursuing our ambitions. Too often the world tells women why they can't do something; our friends are the ones who tell us we can... and help us figure out how.
My hope in the coming year is for everyone to find a community or start a Circle that helps them build the life they want.
That "Circle" refers to Sandberg's Lean In Circles, an organization that helps women find peers to connect with and draw support from, much like Sandberg has done with her close group of childhood girlfriends. The Lean In organization essentially brings Sandberg's resolution to life. Sandberg knows from personal experience how important self-confidence is to women's success, and she's spreading that message through her New Year's resolution.