5 common mistakes people make when setting goals + expert tips on how to create powerful intentions that lead to soul aligned action, fulfilment and ease.
Featuring insights from Keri Krieger, Sydney Campos, Megan Dalla-Camina, Emma Mildon and Helen Jacobs.
It’s almost a condition of the world we live in today to mould ourselves to fit society. We spend our precious time each day — for many of us, it has been from day dot — setting our goals to fit within systems and structures created by others, leading to years of discontent and unease from misdirection and misaligned actions. We’re also faced with patterns of normalised self-sabotage, self-doubt and constant comparisons between our own journey and those around us; all real hinderances on our mission to set powerful intentions that spark joy from within.
So then comes the question: how do we live a more intentional, soul aligned life? Here are 5 common mistakes made when setting goals, and expert tips to ensure you create powerful intentions that will serve your innermost desires and help you to live a soul aligned life bound by your personal divine purpose.
Mistake #1: Getting Caught Up In The How
Life Coach and acupuncturist, Keri Krieger, knows this first mistake all too well having had many people she’s worked with reciting the same lines, always getting caught up in the how.
“So many times over the years I have had the same conversations with clients about the frustration and despondency of, ‘Well I wouldn’t know where to start anyway’ and, ‘How do I work out what I want to do?’” she says.
“My answer is always the same. Start with the small things and follow the connections. The key thing that so many of us balk at before we even get started is the how and believing that we have to have the whole trajectory of the goal mapped out before we even leave home.”
When we get caught up in thinking about where to start or how we’re going to achieve our goals, we try to force what should flow naturally, which in itself creates tension and resistance and lessens our ability to listen to our intuition.
Visionary Mentor, author and psychic channel, Sydney Campos, specialises in this space, and says that when we think in linear timelines, we are closing ourselves off to possibilities. We do not need to determine right now that to get to C we must first reach A then B, but rather, when we remove this linear thought process, we take away barriers, and allow for quantum leaps.
“A quantum leap is transcending time and space and any linear limitations of what you believe is possible for you to create; really to simply allow you to receive the infinite intelligence operating through you,” says Sydney.
So how do we begin to combat getting caught up in the how? The answer is about showing up as all of you.
“Now there is a fine line here between being a control freak how-loving super woman and a fearful but pretending your casual, ‘Oh well it must not have been for me,’ defeatist. Moving towards your goals, you [need to] know that you will still need to put one foot in front of the other even when you’re scared and tired… but it shouldn’t be forced,” says Keri.
She believes it’s the drive, determination and enthusiasm that will get you started without having to have all the plans in place. In fact, she says these are not exclusively the personal attributes of superheroes, but ordinary magical beings such as you. Keri always expresses that the thing with setting true goals is that it’s about showing up as the most potent authentic version of yourself. “Life isn’t going to argue with that… not ever!”
Sydney also provides some excellent advice for avoiding getting caught in the how. She says, “When you are focused on service — how can I serve, how can I help and share my heart authentically in this moment in service to another, what’s the gift that I’m here to give really? — when you’re focused on the gift that you are here to share, all of the old programming and fears and the linear need to figure things out very naturally falls away.”
There is so much anxiety and getting stuck in the loop of how. But ultimately, the “how” is not up to you. Trust in the divine, in your intuition and be open to possibilities. Let your body and your instincts guide your path moving forward and the intentions you set.
“Any time that you are worrying about the how, especially when it comes to your desires and your heart felt authentic expression, you’re giving your power away to an illusory program of linear confines and control — and frankly a lot of repression and oppression therein that is not even true or real. Wherein, in fact, you have this intuitive capacity speaking to you through this divinely designed instrument which is your body, which is literally designed to communicate with you in every single moment — a perfect response to every choice that life is giving to you in every moment,” explains Sydney.
Mistake #2: Listening to Fear
When taking cues from your body and mind for setting goals, be sure you are not letting intrusive fear lead you astray. The role fear plays in taking action to tackle your goals has a huge impact on the way you set your intentions.
Sydney often discusses the importance of dispelling the voice of fear that enters your head when you’re getting ready to move forward in any aspect of your life. It’s the voice of fear that points you in the wrong direction and lets you self-sabotage. This same voice that says ‘You can’t do it’ or ‘What if’ is so paralysing that it can take control, particularly if you’ve been collecting what you believe is evidence your entire life that somehow, you’re not good enough, or not ready. This voice of fear can be so powerful that it forces you into living other identities that are misaligned and aren’t really your true self. This is a major cause of feelings of discomfort in the lives we make for ourselves. It’s draining when you succumb to fear and live a life that is not aligned with your soul.
“Your intuition has a different voice to your ego and self-doubt,” says Sydney. Learn to acknowledge them both but only be guided by one. “Your intuition comes from your soul and acknowledges your purpose and the infinity of opportunities and resources available to you in any given moment. It speaks to you through love, understanding and encouragement.”
Listen for the voice that positively guides you forward, and you will be able to set powerful intensions that fill you with ease.
Mistake #3: Focusing On Others
Best-selling author and spiritual teacher, Emma Mildon, believes that focusing on others, particularly comparing yourself to them, is a common narrative that leads people astray when setting goals for a soul aligned life.
“Mistakes I see people making along their journey in goal setting is comparing their progress with others,” Emma says.
If you’re looking to act in ways that align your intentions with your soul, you need to be able to focus on your innermost self and disregard the path others are putting themselves on.
Sydney has had similar experience with her clients. She says, “so many of the resistances that I support people in moving through, whether it’s in business or sales or really in quantum leaping any aspect of their life, are oriented from a space of being overly focused on what people are going to think of you. Is this going to be understood, is this right?”
Your goals should always reflect purely your desired ways to live and serve because fulfilment will never transpire if your actions are based on someone else’s intentions or their opinion of you. Someone else’s progress, along with their road to reaching their goals is going to be completely different from your personal journey. Comparison and focus on anyone other than yourself will always become a hinderance, not a way to measure your success.
Mistake #4: Limiting Your Potential
Psychic, channel and spiritual guide, Helen Jacobs, believes that placing limits on your abilities and the possibilities for your reality are a common error that obstruct a soul aligned life.
“Probably the most common mistake I see people make when setting goals is to unconsciously limit what they think is possible. When Soul shows us a new way, or new vision, our head wants to minimise it or compact it to fit the current reality, or what we think is possible,” she says.
To avoid limiting your potential and to create powerful intentions, “Listen to the expansive possibility of Soul — trust it’s not only possible, but inevitable, and feel the intention as often as you can.”
This could be when you’re in the shower, commuting, with the kids, or even on social media. Let it be your new default position, or the feeling you’re coming back to more often than not.
Another way to restrict limitations you place on yourself is to commit to your goals as if they’re already done deals. There is no room for doubt when it’s matters of fact. Helen explains you will stop worrying and wondering how it will happen if it’s already set and in motion.
“Respond to each opportunity as if it is answering your intention, letting go of anything that doesn’t feel like a match to the intention you’ve set. Don’t freak out when things start to wobble — anything that’s not aligned with the intention you’ve set, now has to energetically realign itself, or clear out of the way. Don’t get caught up in ensuing chaos, just stay focused on the intention set.”
Mistake #5: Working with Profit Goals & Clutter
Women’s mentor, author and speaker Megan Dalla-Camina, says that one of the biggest mistakes she sees a lot of people commonly make is that we set profit goals not purpose goals.
“We’re setting those goals we think are going to get us to the next success ‘milestone’ like more money, the career milestone, the next big mortgage payment, the new apartment or whatever it is. Or we are setting goals based on what we think we ‘should’ be doing opposed to the things our heart is really calling us to do.”
Profit goals are examples of how we have been led by external systems telling us what we should set out to achieve. We’re taught that not having these goals will lead to failure or lesser lives, when really it is goals like these that limit what can be achieved and take away from the desires of our soul to guide our purpose.
“When we’re not intentional about setting our goals, that’s when we can get to the end and reach our goal and tick the box, and we wonder why we are still feeling less than fulfilled, wondering why we haven’t arrived there yet. The answer is because we haven’t been sitting in our heart space when we’ve been setting our goals.”
Emma Mildon who previously brought up the issue of comparing one’s goals to others, believes similarly.
“Truth is, if your goal doesn’t spark something in you it probably isn’t worth your energy. Focus on your path, and what sings true to you,” she says.
This is potentially the most important thing to remember when setting your goals and has been a common theme brought up by all the women we have spoken to. Some may consider this a given and think of course, but too often we clutter our intentions with profit goals or things that don’t really serve us or sing to our soul and bring us personal happiness and growth.
Megan, expanding on this differentiation between profit goals and purpose goals, says “get really clear on the vision you are building for your life. Then you can look at how the pieces of particular intentions in different areas of your life fit into that. How is everything contributing to the whole? Then think about what is in alignment with that. When we’re really sitting deeply into our intention, we can look at what feels aligned, how do we want to feel, what would the next right action be if we were in alignment. Too often we scramble around doing things we think are going to make a difference, but so much of what we do is just misaligned action that contributes to the noise and the chaos and the drama in our lives. So when we clear away all the clutter, we get really intentional then it becomes much clearer for us what is an aligned ‘yes’ and what is a firm ‘no’. That’s how we get to fulfilment, that’s how we get to meaning and how we bring more grace and ease into our lives.”
Sydney says to “focus your energy, time, creativity and imagination on envisioning what it is your desire most. What is it that you would love to experience, luxuriate in as your natural state of being? What is it you would love to do, to be, to feel, to receive, to create, to contribute? How would you most love to share your heart and be of service? Aligning with your soul purpose is about love.”
When you’re serving and following your heart, you’re not worrying about what everyone else is doing or worrying about how much money you’re making. You are free from these external pressures to look within yourself and set intentions that align with what you personally want to achieve.
Keri expresses the need to really feel the embodied emotion when setting soul aligned intentions, and has shared with us an example of how she does this in her daily life.
“Start with the small things and follow the connections. It’s about relearning healthy responses and learning to create safe spaces to explore what you really want to feel and experience more of in your life. Let yourself follow that pull and feel the connection to experiences that have meaning for you. There is one gorgeous and so incredibly simple exercise that I do regularly, and it is to write a list of your favourite things. Things on your list could easily start with the phrase ‘I love…..’”
As an example, Keri’s current list has noted: Her dog, the ocean, fresh flowers, salt air, scented candles, teacups, baths, bath salts, all things french, live music, hugs, massages, the colour royal blue, time with her girlfriends, writing, sand under her toes, reading and fresh sheets. She explains that it might seem a stretch to go from loving the feeling of fresh sheets to suddenly feeling happy and inspired and knowing what to do want to do with your life, but it’s not.
“By naming things and experiences that we identify a strong connection with and consistently surrounding ourselves with those connections we reinforce what we want more of in our lives. This not only applies to the actual items themselves, but more importantly it reinforces the feeling and our ability to embrace and create a really strong central place for us to draw strength from, within ourselves; because of course it’s not really about the sheets or the baths but the self-love of supporting ourselves in the easiest daily ways possible. By following connections, we create experiences and these lead to transformations.”
Emma has also shared with us tools to focus and set intentions that align with your soul.
“Manifest. Manifest. Manifest. What you think, what you focus your energy on, what you give your time to is all deep seated in what you are pulling in. I find rituals are power tools in helping me focus my intentions with soul aligned action – it can be simply setting an intention when lighting a candle, before going to bed, or for a meditation. Rumour has it that setting an intention before you ‘self love’ or embark on some solo pleasure time is a powerful way to align your intention with action. Literally, soulgasm!”
Finally, when setting intentions that set our souls on fire, and lead to divine fulfilment, Helen Jacobs has some sage words of advice.
“The clue is in the way we feel; if we ain’t feeling our goal, we probably haven’t aligned it to our soul.”