"Make A Promise Day" — May 4th

May The Fourth Be With You!

“A Promise Is Like A Goal on Steroids!” Matthew Cossolotto, Creator of “Make A Promise Day” (May 4th), Pens “Put Your Heart Into It” Article for Personal Excellence Magazine, August 2011

Follow the GPS Success System – turn Goals into Promises = Success – and anchor promises to emotionally charged occasions including birthdays, holidays like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, and major milestones in life like weddings, the birth of children, and anniversaries

Following are a few excerpts from Cossolotto’s article, which appears in the August 2011 Personal Excellence (PE) Magazine.  Visit www.LeaderExcel.com for information about subscribing to PE.


Put Heart Into It

By Matthew Cossolotto

If YOU’RE SERIOUS ABOUT reaching goals, I offer five simple words of advice: Put your heart into itturn goals into promises and anchor them to emotionally charged occasions, including birthdays, holidays, and major milestones in life.

Take the Promise Challenge by turning your promptings and goals into heartfelt promises. Using two magic words—I Promise—makes all the difference. This is my GPS Success System in action: turn Goals into Promises = Success. Just like GPS navigational systems, my GPS system keeps you on track, moving in the right direction over time.

A promise is like a goal on steroids. It ratchets up your emotional stake in the outcome. Harnessing the power of heeding promptings and making promises is the New Frontier in personal achievement.

The reason for this goes back to childhood. As Jack Canfield, co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, notes in his foreword to my book The Power of Making a Promise: “A promise is a promise! I’ve heard that simple expression many times over the years. It’s been etched indelibly in my mind since childhood. I’m not really sure when I first heard somebody actually say those words, but I can’t remember a time when I didn’t believe them.”


Several Examples:

  • Former President Bill Clinton made a promise to his daughter Chelsea before her wedding day that he would watch his diet and take better care of his health. This is a textbook example of turning what would otherwise be a rather mundane goal of pursuing a healthy lifestyle into a heartfelt promise to someone you care deeply about linked to an emotionally charged occasion—your daughter’s wedding. Bill Clinton’s healthy lifestyle commitment was morphed into an ironclad promise with emotional strings attached.
  • Kody Bateman made a promise after the death of his brother: I ignored a prompting to say goodbye to my brother, Chris, when moving across the country. Two months later, I received the tragic news that my brother had been killed. I promised from that day forward to act on my promptings and help others do the same.

That emotion-charged promise led to the creation of SendOutCards, a business dedicated to helping people act on their promptings by sending cards and gifts to family members and friends.

  • Kirk Smalley’s 11-year-old stepson, Ty Field, committed suicide after being bullied for months at school. Following this tragedy, Smalley made a promise on Father’s Day 2010 to do everything he could to stop bullying. Smalley has spoken to 30,000 students at 50 schools in his home state of Oklahoma and was invited to participate in the White House Conference on Preventing Bullying.
  • After 19-year-old Tony McColl was tragically killed by a drunk driver last April, his family and friends turned tragedy into a positive campaign to honor Tony and save lives. They created a moving “I Promise” YouTube video and launched a Facebook group called “Tony’s Promise.”

As a result, thousands of people of all ages have publicly promised not to drink and drive and not to let their friends drive under the influence. Inspired by “Tony’s Promise” campaign, I urged young people to make a solemn promise to their mothers on Mother’s Day not to drink and drive.  The same idea applies to Father’s Day or other special days that have emotional meaning for you. The point is to increase your level of emotional commitment by making the promise to somebody you care about and anchoring that heartfelt promise to a special event or holiday.


Let’s embrace new promise traditions like these:

  • Make a patriotic promise on Independence Day, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, or Flag Day.
  • Make a promise to that special someone on Valentine’s Day
  • Make a promise to your spouse on your wedding anniversary
  • Make a promise to your parents on graduation day
  • Make a promise to take care of your newborn child.
  • Select other days with special meaning and make a few heartfelt promises.

The options are endless, and the results could be priceless.


An ebook, A Promise A Day, is available free to readers of PE by contacting Matthew.Promises@Gmail.com.  Visit http://www.ThePodiumPro.com to order the ebook for just $4.95.

About Matthew Cossolotto

Creator of “Make A Promise Day” (May 4th), Matthew Cossolotto (aka “The Podium Pro”) is a former aide to House Speaker Jim Wright and Congressman Leon Panetta. Matthew also served as a CEO-level speechwriter and communications executive at MCI Communications, Pepsi-Cola International, and GTE. Matthew is the founder and president of Study Abroad Alumni International, dedicated to “building a community of global citizens.” The author of The Almanac of European Politics, HabitForce!, and All The World’s A Podium, he’s working on a new book with a foreword by Jack Canfield about the power of making a promise.  Matthew brings his Personal Empowerment Programs — “PEPTalks” — to colleges, associations, and corporations.   Visit www.ThePodiumPro.com, www.MakeAPromiseDay.com, www.Twitter.com/MakeAPromiseDay.com.

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