It’s easy to stay in our comfort zones – to sit perched on our fences. The familiar far too often keeps us stuck right where we are and prevents us from experiencing personal growth, happiness and manifesting our dreams. But, venturing out into the unknown can seem terrifying and virtually impossible to achieve.

But what if taking the risk, taking that leap off the fence actually led us closer to our hopes and dreams? Led us right to our ideal life?

The kids are back in school soon, making it a perfect time to finally start getting unstuck and start making your life happen! This morning on my weekly Lifestyle and Parenting segment on Global TV, I talked about the power of risk taking and how to get off the fence. I have also written out the steps below.

Direct Link To Segment:

Here are The 5 Steps To Get Off The Fence and Propel You Closer To Your Goals:

Step 1 – Determine Where You’re Stuck

The first step to get off the fence and live a fulfilling existence, is self-awareness. You have to know where you’re blocked, stuck or not thriving. This takes time alone, and the ability to be still and quiet to think about where you are not happy. Exercises like making two lists: One list called GOALS, and the other list is called the OFF THE FENCE ACTION PLAN. So, for example, if you want to start your own business, on the left hand side, you would write, “Start my own business,” and on the right hand side, it would read, “Moonlight my start-up on the side, working ninety minutes at night and four hours on the weekends until I am revenue bearing and can quit my day-job to focus on my business full time.”

The trick is, the more detailed your two lists are, the better. Post your list in a visible spot. It holds you both accountable, and keeps your eye on the prize.

Or, if you’re not a pen and paper person, to help with this exercise, we also have a FREE MOBILE APP to get people off the fence, called GET OFF THE FENCE! Here you can find inspiration, tips, and there is an ACTION PLAN section in the app which allows you to build your monthly OFF THE FENCE plan to propel you toward you goals!!

Click to download in iTunes

Step 2 – Commit To Stop Playing It Safe

New research shows that our brains are wired to be risk adverse. In other words, we find it easier to settle with the status quo. It’s actually a bigger challenge to find new ways of doing things than just sticking with the old.  Most people stay stuck because it’s a comfortable place to not have to commit and see something through – the status quo is easier. But you can’t manifest your highest self without making a decision, no matter how small. It’s about that first baby step. You MUST take it. Celebrate every step in the right direction. You are deciding that in order to grow, you must challenge yourself. For example, you have decided you want to change your lifestyle and start eating healthy and getting fit. You ain’t gonna become Jillian Michaels overnight! Picking up the phone and joining a gym, commiting to 1 day at week at first, and commiting to 1 healthy meal a day is a start. Just that. Then you build on it from there. I think this image illusrates my point. If you are doing more than you were doing yesterday, you are on track to taking risks and getting off the fence. It’s about action, no matter how small.

Photo credit:

Step 3 – Expand Your Skills

Expand your skills and commit to learning something new. Often we stay stuck and on the fence because we don’t have the necessary skills and knowledge needed to move forward towards our goals  So acquire that knowledge and expand your skills. This could mean taking up a new hobby, enrolling in an accounting course, volunteering, or simply giving away your expertise for free. What I mean here is, if you want to become a PAID speaker for example, speaking for free is a great way to gain experience and expertise, and start moving toward your desired goals.

Expanding your skills does not only mean enrolling in courses and acquiring new knowledge, it also means putting the current knowledge you have to work.

Step 4 – Commit to Networking and Meeting NEW People

Commit to taking up a new hobby, volunteering, getting more involved in your kids’ school, or joining a networking group – for the purpose of meeting NEW people. What happens is, we often meet the people we need through the law of attraction. For example, when on a flight, bus or metro, I make it my business to speak to EVERY SEAT mate next to me. I cannot tell you how many business trips (and vacations), simply by asking someone what they do, I have connected with someone who has helped me in my life and career.

If you allow yourself to be open, and join places like your local Chamber of Commerce, BNI, writing groups, just traveling alone, or finding a mentor, you will attract the people you need who will help propel you closer to your goals. This also serves as great inspiration.

Step 5 – Make More Time for the Things You Love To Do and SPEND 30 MINUTES – ONE HOUR A DAY WITHOUT STIMULATION (no phone, facebook, no noise).

Commit to blocking out noise for 30 minutes to one hour a day, and make more time for pleasurable activities. Why? Because when you do the things you love to do, it helps boost your serotonin levels (the happiness hormone), which aids in fighting depression, and other mood disorders. Doing the things you love can put you in a state of euphoria, lowering your cortisol levels (the bad hormone), which clears your mind and allows you to make better, quality decisions. For me, my daily walks clear my mind and make my mind sharper. It’s different for everyone. What is it for you? Is it yoga, running, painting? What do YOU love to do? Lowering cortosol levels allows for clearer decision making.

May I quickly remind you of the studies on early risers and the link with happiness and success. Laura Vanderkam is the leading expert in this arena. If you are too tired at the end of your day for pleasurable activities, try waking 30 minutes earlier in the morning before the kids awake. A fantastic way to start your day.

When you do what you love, you are being good to yourself. You are spoiling yourself. And spoiling yourself is your right. Feeling good allows you to make clear decisions. Do it, guilt-free.

And in the same vein, I cannot stress the importance of these four factors in sharpening your mind for effective and strategic decision making: good restorative sleep, an active lifestyle, healthy nutrition and meditation.

I’d love to know what step you’re on right now. Have you gotten off the fence, or are you just starting to think about it? Would love you to share your story below.