5 Steps To Easily Achieve Your Goals as an Osteopath

We reviewed Ray Dalio's book Principle. Here's what we learned about how osteopaths can use Ray's 5-step process to achieve audacious goals.

5 steps to easily achieve your goals as an osteopath

Audacious goals are your new advantage.

I recently listened to a book by Ray Dalio called Principles and how to apply them towards reaching our most significant goals.

Ray Dalio, one of the world’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs, shares the unconventional principles that he’s developed, refined, and used over the past forty years to create remarkable results in both life and business. Principles that all osteopaths can adopt to help achieve their goals in just five steps. So, let’s dive into 5 steps to easily achieve your goals as an osteopath.

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Step 1: List

Setting goals without restrictions

Ray says that when setting goals, we’re often limited by our mindset. We tend to avoid going after certain goals because we feel that they’re in some way unattainable.

And instead, we stay well within our comfort zone to pursue goals we know we can achieve. I know I’ll do this quite a lot, like if I’m deciding what goals to go forward and subconsciously, I will ask myself, is this realistic?

And that will limit the kind of audacity with which I’ll set my own goals. I’m trying to get better at this. The idea is to completely separate this realistic element from setting goals in the first place.

In fact, this is precisely the same thought process that Tony Robbins famously used to set goals early in his career, which can be found in his book Awaken The Giant Within.


“I set aside all my limiting beliefs and sat down on the beach with my journal. I wrote continuously for three hours, brainstorming every possibility of what I could ever imagine doing, being, having, creating, experiencing, or contributing. The timeline I gave myself to achieve these goals was from tomorrow to the next 20 years. I never stopped to think whether I could actually achieve these goals or not.” – Tony Robbins.

Step 2: Barriers

Admit your weaknesses to overcome your ego

Okay. So at this point, we’ve got our list of audacious goals, and now we need to figure out what problems we might get into along the way.


“Most problems are potential improvements screaming at you. But unfortunately, many of us are afraid to highlight our weaknesses because of ego barriers. We find having weaknesses painful because society has taught us that having weaknesses is bad.” – Ray Dalio.

So the key here is that we want to be totally open with ourselves when setting goals and admitting exactly what our weaknesses are, rather than letting our ego hide them from us.

For example, if my goal is to build a multi-osteo practice, I need to ask myself what problems might I face along the way.

I need to own up to my weakness, the fact that I’m actually not that good at knowing how to build the foundations of a good business. So, therefore, that’s a skill I need to admit to myself and then actively work on improving.

Step 3: Diagnose

Asking why leads to incredible understanding

Now that we’ve got the goals and identified some of the problems, we need to diagnose their root cause.

Ray Dalio highlights this point in the book by saying that you will be much more effective if you focus on diagnosis and design rather than jumping onto solutions.

Like often, our problems aren’t as obvious as they might first seem. And so, we need to really dig down to what is the root cause of the problem.

And if we want to stop the symptoms, we have to ultimately cure the disease rather than just band-aiding over the symptoms. Similarly, in goal-setting, we need to dig down and diagnose the root cause if we want to solve the problems.

And one of the best ways of doing this is the five whys technique.

The idea is that we need to ask ourselves why at least five times to reach a deeper level of understanding.

  1. If my goal is to double the number of patients I treat in a year, I need to ask myself why I’m not seeing double the amount already? The answer would be, well, I don’t have enough new patients finding the clinic.
  2. So, why aren’t enough new patients finding the clinic? Well, because there are few ways patients can find the clinic.
  3. Why are there few ways for patients to find the clinic? Because I’m not marketing myself enough?
  4. Why am I not marketing myself enough? Because I don’t make enough time for it.
  5. Why am I not making enough time for it, and why don’t I know where to start? Because I’m busy either treating patients, trying to spend time with my family when I can.

At the end of your five questions, you’re able to get to the root of the bigger problem.

It’s clear in that example that I need to organise and prioritise my work time better. Time spent learning effective marketing methods to grow the number of ways patients can find my clinic.

Now, obviously, we can apply this to any situation at all.

Step 4: Solutions

Designing precedes doing

Once we figure out exactly the problems, we can then go to step four to design solutions.

Ray tweets:

“Replay the story of where you’ve been or what you’ve done that led you to where you are now, and then visualise where you and others must doin the future so that you will reach your goals.”

This is such a great principle. I love it because it acknowledges where we’ve come from and what systems and designs in our life led us to this current place where we haven’t achieved that goal or done that thing that we want to do.

And then, moving forward, we can visualise a future in which we have changed those things so that we can then achieve the goal.

If that makes sense? So, if my goal were to learn how to plan my time better, I can look at the past and figure out why I’ve been struggling with time management.

And I know it’s because I was never good at prioritising study time during university. So now I’ve identified that I need to design a new schedule that makes achieving that goal almost inevitable.

I can literally schedule half a day a week into my calendar. I hire a business coach for some accelerated knowledge and accountability.

I can prepay for all these business sessions in advance so that if on the day I’m tempted to miss a session, then A, I’m going to be letting someone down because they’ll be waiting for me, and B, I’ll have already paid for it. So, I’ll feel the pinch of wasting money.

These advantages stack the deck in my favour of hopefully working out a consistent habit on my journey to double my patient numbers.

And this is great because it is a systems-based solution to the people problem that I personally have of my unorganised nature and lack of motivation.

In fact, as Ray Dalio says, “Designing precedes doing,” the design will give you your to-do list.”

Step 5: Action

Be disciplined to get results

Once we figure out what we need to do, we just actually have to execute and do the thing.

Again to quote Ray Dalio says that “People who are good at this stage can reliably execute a plan. They tend to be self-disciplined and proactive rather than reactive to the blizzard of daily tasks that can divert them from execution.”

They are results-oriented. They love to push themselves over the finish line.

But not everyone is like that. Do you need a helping hand? If that sounds like you, not only can we help you, but we make things fun with our Business Coaching For Osteopaths.

Written by Alan Zaia M.Ost

Founder & CEO of Osteohustle. You’ll find Alan coaching osteopaths, travelling in a van or writing our weekly newsletter, The Hustle.

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Subscribe to The Hustle

The greatest osteopaths in the world never stop learning.

Get the best business and marketing resources for osteopaths in 30 words or less into your inbox every Monday.  

By subscribing to The Hustle, you agree to our terms and conditions. We’ll never send spam.