"Make A Promise Day" — May 4th

May The Fourth Be With You!

Article Published About Turning New Year’s Resolutions Into Promises

Making Resolutions That Promise Results

What’s in a word? When it comes to those heartfelt New Year declarations, says one author, it could make all the difference. 

By Tom Bartley | December 30, 2010  


May all your troubles last

as long as your New Year’s resolutions! — Joey Adams

The time has come to turn our back on the final ticks of a spent year and embrace the shiny hope of a new one. We resolve—and earnestly mean—to do better in our 12-month opportunity for renewal. But those New Year’s resolutions, they tell us, simply go in one year and out the other.

So, how can we improve the odds that we’ll live up to them?

Simple, says author Matthew Cossolotto of Yorktown Heights. Don’t make resolutions. Make promises instead.

“The word promise is important,” he insists. Accorded the respect denied resolution and imbued with a backbone that resolution has yet to achieve, your promise represents a “heart-centered commitment” that creates an emotional attachment, especially when made to a loved one. “We grow up knowing that a promise is something special. A promise is something we’re predisposed to take seriously.”

Cossolotto sees little value in making a resolution. “People don’t take it seriously,” he says. “So what’s the point in doing it?”

To underscore his conviction that promises carry a power all their own, Cossolotto is seeking to have May 4 formally proclaimed, “Make a Promise Day.” So far, the onetime aide to congressmen like House Speaker Jim Wright and Rep. Leon Panetta, now director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has received a warm reception from his hometown Yorktown town board. And he’s just beginning. Declaring, “Today, Yorktown; tomorrow, the world,” Cossolotto plans further appeals to higher levels of government. Indeed, given his choice of date for “Make a Promise Day,” Cossolotto may have his sights set even higher than this globe. “May the 4th be with you,” he says.

Cossolotto’s book HabitForce! is a testament, he notes, to a promise’s power. When his mother, Virginia Hope Butler, was dying, he recalls, they were discussing HabitForce!, which at that time was just a manuscript in progress. For many writers, manuscript-in-progress can be shorthand for project-never-completed. But Cossolotto promised he would not only finish the writing but also dedicate the book to her and get it published. “Her face lit up,” he says, recalling his mother’s reaction, smiling through her pain. “‘You do that, Matthew,’ she said. ‘ You do that!’ And I’m proud to say I did. I think she’d be proud, too.” 

Today, Cossolotto is focused on his forthcoming book, The Power of Making a Promise, which he will discuss at the John C. Hart Public Library in Shrub Oak Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m. He’s also scheduled to appear at the Mount Kisco Public Library Jan. 15 (11:00 AM) and the Mount Pleasant Public Library in Pleasantville Feb. 5 (10:30 AM).

To make good on your promises, whether of the New Year’s variety or any other, motivational speaker Cossolotto recommends a seven-step program:

1.     Commit emotionally, by making the promise to someone you care about. 

2.     Be specific. Promise to lose 10 pounds, not just “some weight.”

3.     Be selective. Limit promises to the handful of things for which you are willing to put your integrity on the line.

4.     Start small. Tackle a few things you can accomplish rather than risk breaking a promise.

5.     Write it down.

6.     Make it public. Publish your promise on a blog, Twitter or YouTube.

7.     Follow through. Make good on your promise, for yourself as much as for others.

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About Matthew Cossolotto

Creator of “Make A Promise Day” (May 4th), Matthew Cossolotto (aka “The Podium Pro”) is an author, guest speaker, CEO-level speechwriter, and speech coach.  A former aide to House Speaker Jim Wright and Congressman Leon Panetta, Matthew also served as a top speechwriter and communications executive at MCI, Pepsi-Cola International, and GTE. 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 (co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series) about the power of making a promise. Matthew brings his Personal Empowerment Programs — “PEPTalks”— to colleges, associations, and corporations.  Visit www.ThePodiumPro.com and www.MakeAPromiseDay.com.

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