"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.

August 4, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Countdown to Make A Promise Day (May 4th) — Matthew Cossolotto Publishes “A Good Pep Talk” Article In April Personal Excellence Magazine


Apr 02, 2011 – Matthew Cossolotto, author of HabitForce! and creator of “Make A Promise Day” (May 4th — May The Fourth Be With You!), has published an article in the April issue of Personal Excellence magazine (http://www.LeaderExcel.com) titled “A Good Pep Talk.”  In the article, Cossolotto highlights this key personal empowerment idea:  The most powerful motivational speech in the world is what you say to yourself, not just once in awhile but on a regular, habitual basis.

In the article, Cossolotto cites Earl Nightingale’s observation in The Strangest Secret: “We become what we think about.”  Then Cossolotto writes:

“This profound truth has been recognized for ages.  Buddha said, ‘All that we are is the result of what we have thought.  The mind is everything.  What we think we become.’  The same idea can be found in the Bible: ‘As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he’ (Proverbs 23.7).”

Publication of Cossolotto’s “pep talk” article coincides with the release of his new ePub titled “A Promise A Day — 30 Days to a Promising Future.”  News of this ePub is one of several announcements being made in the run-up to “Make A Promise Day” on May 4th.

Cossolotto, a former aide to House Speaker Jim Wright and Congressman (now CIA Director) Leon Panetta, referred to his brand new ePub as a daily “Promise Dairy” that contains 30 Personal Empowerment Promises – or PEPs. Because of that acronym, Cossolotto says there’s “a PEP talk in every promise.”

Thus his article and his new ePub both emphasize the importance of giving ourselves “pep talks” in the form of positive affirmations and even personal empowerment promises.

“I’m delighted that Personal Excellence magazine decided to publish my ‘pep talk’ article this month,” Cossolotto said.  “The timing is perfect.  It fits in well with the series of announcements I have planned in April and early May leading up to the second annual “Make A Promise Day” on May 4th.  I hope everyone will visit the Personal Excellence website (http://www.LeaderExcel.com.) and get their hands on the April issue.”

With his “A Promise A Day” ePub (available online by visiting http://www.ThePodiumPro.com), Cossolotto provides 30 personal empowerment promises for people to consider, including his “Top Ten Promises for a SUCCESSFUL Life” and twelve promises first penned by Christian Larson and published as the Optimist Creed.

Here’s a short video of Cossolotto announcing the publication of “A Promise A Day.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXEeMIlRTb4

Cossolotto knows about the power of making a promise from personal experience. He made a promise to his mother on her deathbed that he would finish writing a book he had been discussing with her, get it published, and dedicate it to her memory. The resulting book, complete with Cossolotto’s dedication to his mother, is HabitForce! How to Kick the Habits of FAILURE and Adopt the Habits of SUCCESS.

Motivated by that firsthand experience, Cossolotto launched the first annual “Make A Promise Day” last May 4th as part of his ongoing mission to share the power of making a promise with millions of people around the world. He’s writing a book about the power of making a promise with a foreword by Jack Canfield, co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. The book includes stories about people who have made and kept important promises in their lives.

Here is a brief excerpt from Jack Canfield’s foreword to Cossolotto’s forthcoming book:

When Matthew first told me about the heartfelt promise he made to his mother and that he was launching a special day called “Make A Promise Day” on May 4th, I was hooked. You could say he had me at “I promise.”… Contributing the foreword to this book and being associated with Matthew’s inspiring “Make-A-Promise” project is totally aligned with my life’s purpose. http://www.JackCanfield.com

On February 15, 2011, the Yorktown, NY, town board became the first jurisdiction to adopt a resolution proclaiming May 4th to be “Make A Promise Day.” (See press release for details: http://prlog.org/11305930.)

To underscore the power of making a promise, Cossolotto cites several high-profile examples:

• Oprah Winfrey made a promise to Nelson Mandela that she would build a school for girls in South Africa.

• Nancy Brinker, author of Promise Me and founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, promised her sister and breast cancer victim Suzy that she would help find a cure.

• Before his daughter’s wedding, former president Bill Clinton made a promise to Chelsea that he would watch his diet and take care of his health.

Cossolotto invites people around the world to submit short summaries of their uplifting true stories of promises made and promises kept for possible inclusion in forthcoming books, presentations, and interviews. Send a few sentences describing your promise to: Matthew.Promises@Gmail.com.
About Matthew Cossolotto (aka “The Podium Pro”). A former aide to House Speaker Jim Wright and Congressman (now CIA Director) Leon Panetta, Matthew Cossolotto served as a CEO-level speechwriter and communications executive at MCI, Pepsi-Cola International, and GTE. The author of several books including The Almanac of European Politics, All The World’s A Podium, and HabitForce! Matthew offers a range of executive communication services and guest speaking programs. Please visit http://www.ThePodiumPro.com;  http://www.MakeAPromiseDay.wordpress.com;  http://www.MakeAPromiseDay.com.  Follow Matthew and “Make A Promise Day” on Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/MakeAPromiseDay.

April 4, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment