I am looking for a phrase, metaphor, or cliche to mean "putting one's plans into action".

I am using it in the following sentence.

As the events of the play proceed, however, Hamlet becomes increasingly hesitant about following through with his plans. He wastes much of his time ruminating on whether or not he should [insert phrase here].

The wording of the sentence is likely subject to change depending on what phrase I use, but that is the general idea.

  • 3
    a simple "act" could work. Jan 25, 2015 at 23:01
  • @AverageGatsby You're right, sometimes simple is best...
    – McB
    Jan 25, 2015 at 23:03
  • 2
    Or simply 'implement' or 'execute' them.
    – idunno
    Jan 25, 2015 at 23:46
  • 1
    @idunno I'm guessing that, like myself, you considered these too obvious to submit as an answer. I consider that to be worth a hat, never mind rep points. Jan 29, 2015 at 17:00
  • 2
    @AverageGatsby That's dangerously close to a pun. Mind you, '... execute his plans ...' is also quite near to the bone. Jan 29, 2015 at 17:16

3 Answers 3


People often execute plans, eg:

He is able to trick Uriel, an Archangel, easily and get closer to Paradise to execute his evil plan to corrupt and destroy Man.


to carry out; accomplish: to execute a plan or order.


The following is often used when the prospect is daunting:

grasp the nettle (UK)

to force yourself to be brave and do something that is difficult or unpleasant


An equivalent expression is bite the bullet, but how suitable this would be when talking about Hamlet is debatable.

  • Grasp the nettle seems particularly appropriate for Hamlet.
    – Good A.M.
    Jan 29, 2015 at 0:11

"set off" or "activate"

  • As the events of the play proceed, however, he wastes his time ruminating whether or not he should set off/activate his plans.
  • "set off" - to set in motion, cause to begin. - Merriam-Webster
  • "activate" - to set in motion, make active or more active. - TFD

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