Yeah, yeah, yeah.  We all say it.  We want to spend more time with the people we love.  We want to spend time on the things that matter most to us – things that bring us joy, projects or activities that are fulfilling.

We want, we want, we want.  Uh-huh.


This short, made-on-the-fly YouTube video, published by Prosperity TV in 2015, “The Congruency Gap,” features Randy Gage, an internationally acknowledged expert on prosperity and success.

It has one big idea:  Very often there is a gap between what we say we want and what we do. 

It also has one big question:  Is it time to check the evidence?

Gage’s bio reads like a novel.  The millionaire started out as a high school drop-out and juvenile delinquent arrested for armed robbery at the age of 15.  He made it past juvie jail time, assorted addictions, and getting shot, as well as the various risings and fallings of a dedicated hustler all the way to near-bankruptcy before he turned himself around and started moving on up.

In 1990, the guy began writing self-help books on the subject of prosperity and a year later formed a coaching and training business, Gage Research and Development Institute, Inc.

Since that time he’s published a dozen books.  Gage’s very first book HOW TO BUILD A MULTI-LEVEL MONEY MACHINE: The Science of Network Marketing was considered to be a seminal work on how to be a success in the network marketing business.

Two of his other books have become New York Times bestsellers:  RISKY IS THE NEW SAFE: The Rules Have Changed, and MAD GENIUS:  Manifesto for Entrepreneurs.

Gage has also spoken to more than two million people across more than 50 countries and is a member of the Speakers Hall of Fame, it says here.   Whew!


What Gage touches on in his little video is a thing developed by London Business School professor and business coach Richard Jolly.  It has been used, adapted and  expanded by others.  The exercise is called the “Calendar Diagnostic.”  It takes a bunch of time spent head- and heart-bending.  It can be well worth the effort.

“Calendar” by Dafne Cholet via Flickr [CC BY-2.0]
Here’s what you do:

First, you grab a piece of paper and ask yourself these burning questions:

  •  What does success look like to me?
  •  What’s my definition of a good job, a good career or a good life?
  •  What values and priorities do I hold most dear and want to live?
  •  What feeds me? What is inspiring and life-enriching for me?
  •  What are my top three priorities in all of this? Decide what and who are the most important  in your life. 

Next, pull out your last year’s calendar or planner…whatever you use to stay on top of your to-do list.  Ask yourself:

  •  What were my three biggest commitments each week? Each month?
  •  What did I spend my time doing?
  •  What did I do on weekends?
  •  Did I take any time off or any vacation time? What did I do then?

Write down your answers.  Reflect on them. 

Now, for each of your top three priorities, ask yourself this:

  • How much alignment is there between what I say I want (my priorities) and how I spend my time?
  • Am I saying “yes” to the most important things and people in my life?

If you are walking your talk, give yourself a round of applause and just keep walking that walk.  Maybe throw in a couple of dance steps or cartwheels or something.


However, maybe after working your way through this exercise, you get whacked upside the head with the hard evidence that somehow your walk is not matching your talk.  Ouch!

“Morning Alarm Clock 1” by Paul Swansen via Flickr [CC BY-ND 2.0]
The next step (after you stop bad-mouthing and scolding yourself yet again) is to grab up another piece of paper and start detailing alternative actions you could-might-(maybe) take.

Want to get healthy?  How can you do that?  Make a list, break it down.  (Forget about slicing or chopping.  Think dicing.  Think mincing.)

Want to work on strengthening relationships with your heart-people?  What tiny moves can you make to do that?

Want to learn something new, start a new exploration, develop a new skill or new mindset or expand one you already enjoy?  What small actions can you make to get that started?

  • Think on the actions you can take that align with your most treasured values and goals. Make them tiny.  Make them little.  Don’t go all grandiose.  Just do small.
  • And make lists – column A, column B, and column C — one column for each of your top priorities.
  • After you’ve made up one weensy, tiny step you could make for each of your top three priorities, sprinkle these steps throughout your days.
  • Pull out your current calendar or planner. Start adding at least one of the little alternative actions that align with what you say you want to do to your calendar.  Do it for the next four weeks – just one month.   Pick one from column A, one from Column B and one from column C and add each one to a specific day for each week.  Choose a time – morning, afternoon, evening — when you’re going to do this one thing.
  • Then when you get to that calendar date, you know that on this day, besides all of the other stuff you’re going to do, you will also do the little step or action you’ve scheduled that aligns your walk with your talk.

After you get through one month of days, re-evaluate. 

  • Are you ready for another step from each of the columns?
  • Or do you want to keep on doing the same one for a while?
  • Has there been some new development that requires some other step you haven’t listed or even thought of? (Add it to the list, add that one item to your calendar, if it’s appropriate, and go….)

Set up your next four weeks in the same way.  Go.

 If you keep doing that, over and over again, at the end of the next year when you do your calendar diagnostic again, you may be delighted at the way you’ve begun to bridge that congruence gap.

You may like the way your moves and actions are trending.  And, maybe, you’ll have thought up more ideas for the journey you are making.   Go, you!


One of my favorite quotes from Randy Gage is this one:  “There is no random.  Your life is the harvest of your thoughts…. And your results come from the thoughts you give precedence to.  Instead of letting thoughts ‘happen,’ you must be mindful, becoming the thinker of the thought.

“Thinker” by Albert via Flickr [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]
Keep on thinking good thoughts….

Here’s a poem:


Looking side-eye at the World,

Seeing how my reflections are moving

In that crackled-crazy mirror,

I catch glimpses sometimes

Of the Universe that bides in me.


Watching as the World moves,

Doing what it does,

It occurs to me that, really,

I am a transparency –

Not really here or there or anywhere –

A figment of my own imagination.


The World of Dust does not notice

What I do or do not do,

Even though my own mind it is

That tries to wrap itself

All around the constructs

Dancing in the wind.


Illusions and delusions join hands

In a stomp-dance,

Insisting on making a big noise,

A brave sound that pierces

The silent Dark surrounding us.


And here I sit, thinking, thinking, thinking,

While my body urges me to get on up

And join that joyous, rowdy mob

And my spirit tells me it’s time and

More than time to go soaring,

My mind floats quiescent.


Ah, well…

At least this thing I do

Makes okay-good poetry once in a while.

by Netta Kanoho

Header photo credit:  “At Black Lake, Gap Dunloe” by Michael Foley via Flickr [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]



(Click on each of the post titles below and see where it takes you….)


Thanks for your visit.  I’d appreciate it if you’d drop a comment or note below and tell me your thoughts.








  1. This blog is just what I needed to read today…and you’ve written it quite well indeed. Basically, get off your butt and do what you’ve said you were going to do.

    We’re all guilty of this from time to time and it helps to see a video like this to get us moving again. It should be mandatory viewing for everyone who has the desire to improve their life.

    1. Hey Karen: 

      Thanks for your visit and your thoughts.

      Please do come again!

  2. Ming Chien says:

    Your post is really applicable to anyone who seek to achieve anything in life, from relationships to career to health. I like the way you list out all the essential questions for goal setting. Really applicable to anyone!

    Anyone who needs guidance or inspiration should come to your post. Great stuff!

    1. Hey Ming Chien: 

      Thanks for your visit and for your comments.  I had hoped the post would be a help.

      Please do come again.

  3. Stephanie says:

    I’m very guilty of dreaming a lot and not going for it. Sometimes its just too scary to take those first steps because your so worried that it might not work.

    I’m scared to start my own business in fear of it not working out, knowing you have to put so much time and effort into it. I guess my biggest fear is wasting time.

    I really needed to read this. One of my aunts told me the other day, not everything is going to just be handed to you, you need to get out there and do what you want to do, even if you fail the first time, there’s always another try.

    Thanks for this. 

    1. Thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts, Stephanie.  I’m glad it was helpful to you.

      Please do come again….

  4. Henderson says:

    You’re right.  We need to get up and do those things we have always said we are going to do. 

    Procrastination has always been a thing with us people and until we are able to curb it, success won’t be so near. 

    I think I really need to try out that exercise that you posted here and see how it will really help me. I think there is a thing with you and taking out papers, lol.

    1. Henderson, thanks for the visit and for sharing your thoughts.  

      Hee!  I think you’re right!  Every exercise I suggest does seem to involve pulling out a stack of paper and grabbing a pen or something.  (And it’s always about asking and answering questions and more questions.)  

      I’m glad you feel moved to try the thing anyhow.

      Please do come again.

  5. Tommy Potter says:

    You touch a really nerve point in the lives of many people. (At least mine). 

    We spend our lives dreaming and wishing to achieve various goals, and frequently, we do get to the planning part at best. 

    However, it is also common to stay there or perhaps at the beginning of something without being persevering. 

    The Richard Jolly questionnaire you share has been very revealing but also very useful in trying to close that gap between what we want and what we do.

    1. Tommy, thanks for the visit and for sharing your thoughts.  I am glad you found the post helpful.

      Please do come again.

  6. Things that I say and that I do, pretty much seems different and sometimes opposite. 

    I don’t usually read self-help or inspirational books because it has this effect on me that makes me feel like an ineffective and inefficient person.  

    Probably this is because there is truth in what I read that is about me.  But then, I’ve also realized that there is still room for a better change. 

    I like how this Calendar diagnostic has some prepared reflection questions that help reader to monitor, compare and answer one’s improvement and achievement. 

    Some self help books and vids would tell you to do this and that without really helping the audience to conduct one’s own problem analysis. Some have blatant suggestions while others just not  make sense at all.

    Thank you for sharing this self evaluation article. I’m gonna try it myself and see what else there is to know about myself, to improve myself and have one new reason to be inspired.

    1. MissusB, thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts.  I am pleased that you found this post helpful.

      In this blog, I am trying very hard NOT to do the expert-dance on my readers.  I, myself, resent when someone tries to tell me that I HAVE to do this or I CAN’T do that.  (That’s probably ’cause I’ve got authority issues and my Inner Brat is strong.  Sigh!) 

      Please do come again….

  7. Hello Netta, 

    This post is really lovely to read. I think this was really written for me because I am that person who needs to understand that gap between what I said I was going to do and what I have actually done. 

    This is something I see as a problem and you have given light to me where I have darkness in this topic. I have to give that exercise a shot though. Thanks

    1. Thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts, John.  I’m glad you found the post helpful.

      Please do come again.

  8. Thanks for sharing such an interesting and knowledgeable article. I love to read through useful contents like this, it lightens up my my  day and makes me learn a lot too. 

    It’s very true that we say things we don’t get to do, it always good to set mind at things and get to do them.

    1. Hanness, thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts.  I do appreciate it.

      Please do come again.

  9. Lucas Moore says:

    Everyone needs a call to action and a drive to be able to motivate every one of their steps. 

    I believe that if we all know how to truly pursue our goals and objectives and not just say what we want to do.  We do need to also pursue after what we have purposed in our hearts. 

    Thank you so much for the effort once again.

    1. Lucas, I do thank you for the visit and for sharing your thoughts.

      Please do come again.

  10. Elijah Himes says:

    Wow, what a wake-up call. Such a simple idea but something that can have such a profound effect on your life. 

    I myself find that I say I want to do a lot of things and yet it feels like time goes by and they hardly manifest into reality, even when it feels like I’m working to make them happen. 

    But your advice on breaking our biggest desires up into manageable pieces and scheduling small achievable goals seems to make a lot of sense. This is just what I needed to hear today, I hope to apply what I’ve learned moving forward. 

    1. Elijah, I’m glad you found the post to be helpful.  

      Please do come again.

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