Execute Your Plan: Using the 5 Steps to Meet Goals

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform summary of "Principles: Life and Work" by Ray Dalio. Shortform has the world's best summaries of books you should be reading.

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What’s the best way to execute your plan? Can using the 5-step process in Ray Dalio’s Principles system help?

You can use the five-step process to decide your goals and execute your plan. Once you have goals in mind, it’s important to execute your plan efficiently and with intention.

Learn more about how to execute your plans using the Principles system.

How to Execute Your Plan: Do the Tasks Required to Completion

Once you have your plan, you need to execute it. You need the discipline to act out your script. 

Have good work habits. Prioritize your to-do lists, and tick them off in order.

Measure your progress by setting clear, well-defined metrics. If you aren’t meeting your metrics, that’s a problem that needs to be diagnosed and solved.

To keep up your motivation, remember the goals you want to achieve, and how your plans will help you achieve those goals. If you lose sight of this “why?” you will lose sight of your goals, and you will lose motivation in your plan. 

Those are all five steps. It sounds simple. But simple doesn’t mean easy.  Keep reading to learn how to execute your plans.

Executing Your 5-Step Plan

Here are more suggestions on how to execute your plans.

Follow the five steps in order. If you go out of order, you won’t execute each step to its fullest potential, and it’ll be harder to execute your plan.

  • As you set your goals, don’t worry about how you’re going to achieve them. Don’t dampen your ambition based on what you know you’re capable of achieving today.
  • As you diagnose your problems, don’t worry about how you’re going to solve them yet. Don’t shy away from recognizing big problems just because you don’t know what to do about them.

No one is great at all 5 steps. Some creative people can’t execute; some people find it hard to diagnose their own weaknesses. 

  • Find which steps you fail at. 
  • Then get rid of that weakness. You can either get better at it yourself, or find other people who can help compensate for your weakness.

As you go through the steps, visualize your success to stay motivated. Even while you struggle to achieve success, you can crave the thrill of success. You can also visualize the tragic results if you fail to push through.

Execute Your Plan: Using the 5 Steps to Meet Goals

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best summary of Ray Dalio's "Principles: Life and Work" at Shortform .

Here's what you'll find in our full Principles: Life and Work summary :

  • How Ray Dalio lost it all on bad bets, then rebounded to build the world's largest hedge fund
  • The 5-step process to getting anything you want out of life
  • Why getting the best results means being relentlessly honest with everyone you work with

Carrie Cabral

Carrie has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember, and has always been open to reading anything put in front of her. She wrote her first short story at the age of six, about a lost dog who meets animal friends on his journey home. Surprisingly, it was never picked up by any major publishers, but did spark her passion for books. Carrie worked in book publishing for several years before getting an MFA in Creative Writing. She especially loves literary fiction, historical fiction, and social, cultural, and historical nonfiction that gets into the weeds of daily life.

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