7 Sneaky Ways We Sabotage our Intentions and Goals - Christine Kane

“Intention rules the earth,” says Oprah.

It’s true.

In fact, the first week of my Uplevel Your Life™ Mastery Program is devoted solely to intention, with reams of hands-on techniques to strengthen clarity and commitment as you answer the age-old question:

“What the heck do you want?”

This question might totally throw you off.

If you’re like many of my clients, you’ve believed your limiting thoughts for so long, that you don’t realize you can ask for what you truly want and that you have the power to attract it!

So, naturally, you might do some wonky things at first that actually sabotage an otherwise powerful intention!  Here are seven of the most common ways we do that:

#1 – “So that.”

Example: “I intend to lose weight and get in shape SO THAT I can be energetic and happy in my daily life.”

“So that” says:  “I can’t have THIS if I don’t have THAT.”  It is restricting.  And intentions are about expansion!

Be brave enough to ask, “What do I ultimately want here?”  If you want two things, you can divide the intentions with AND or WHILE.  “I intend to lose weight while being happy and energetic in my daily life.”

#2 – Implementing Bureaucrat Speak Calibrated to Leverage Maximum Capacity Mental Paralysis

Example: “I intend to leverage an incremental degree of financial stability insomuch as I can facilitate a reasonable facsimile of value-added methodology.”

When you set an intention, you’re speaking to your soul, not to the folks in HR.  Intention is supposed to excite us a lot, and scare us a little.   Pretend you never worked in corporate, and use language that feels good to you.

3 – “Ing” Overdose

Example:  “I intend that I am becoming clear about my career path while my health is getting better and I am attracting a loving romantic partner.”

The Universe always says YES.  In this case, it says, “Yes indeed. You ARE becoming clear.  And you are, in fact, ATTRACTING a loving partner… any minute now!”

Don’t push your goals into the future. Stick with present tense.

4 – Scattered, Splattered and Covered

Example:  “I intend to get clear about the next steps I’m taking in my life with health, lifestyle, my relationship, and career. Oh, and I also want to lose weight, make more money, move somewhere else and write a novel.”

I call this “Attention Splatter.”  And the problem with it is this:

When you’re splattered, you never experience completion or success in ANYTHING.

Here’s what’s wild, though.  When you focus on one single intention, often the other things you want will begin to manifest effortlessly.  (OR you come to realize that you no longer want all those things!)

Be willing to be unimpressive and boring.  Start with just one thing.

5 – Trying to figure out the HOW.

I call it “The Unstoppable Power of Intention” because when you set an intention, you don’t have to know HOW.

Yes, of course, you take action. But you don’t “figure it all out” first. Trying to figure out HOW it could possibly happen is just your scarcity mindset trying to take control.  (And how’s that been workin’ for you so far?)

6 – Worrying about your ego.

“Isn’t this just my ego talking?  How will I know if I’m honoring my deepest self?  Is this intention my TRUE! LIFE! PURPOSE????”

You can spin your wheels for years trying to discover an Academy Award-Winning Life Purpose, or waiting til you’re “totally at peace.”   Don’t set this trap for yourself.  The simple action right in front of you is all you need to take. (And sometimes, it might be deceptively boring!)

If you can’t hear your deepest self yet, then just start somewhere. Maybe your ego’s desires will open up a deeper path.

7 – Removing, obliterating, or ridding yourself of obstacles, weakness, and issues.

Example:  I intend to rid myself of all of my anger and addictions and stop letting my ego run the show and never have emotions again.


This is SO not gonna happen.

You don’t have to focus on your “stuff” just to prove that you’re not in denial.

Remember this: Energy flows where attention goes.  When you include your “issues” in your intention, then you are, in essence, saying, “Let’s really give this my energy. Let’s dredge it up, shall we?”

Focus instead on the things that you DO want. That way, the obstacles and issues will naturally come up for release in their perfect and right time.

Be on the look out! Very soon, I’ll be announcing a free one-time-only training call on setting intentions and goals – and how to create these outcomes step-by-step.  I promise you this:  It’ll be the BEST mindset training you’ve ever experienced.  Nuff said. Get ready to Uplevel your World!

  • Traci

    Christine – thanks for the great article! I can definitely relate to #4… I have so many ambitions that I don’t know which one to chose, resulting in not making a choice at all and feeling stuck. I appreciate the reminder to focus on one thing, even if it’s boring! What a healthy perspective. I will make a choice!

  • Michele Fischer

    I love this post and can completely relate-wonderful tips! Looking forward to the call!

  • Cena

    SO – when’s your next “Uplevel Live Retreat?” – Would LOVE to be able to plan for it this time and BE THERE!!!

    • Christine Kane

      Hey Cena – Not sure when exactly the event will be this year. Probably late July/early August. We’ll let you know ASAP!

  • Renae

    Christine –
    Such a timely article!!!
    I know the universe is sending me TONS of signals to just get my intentions down on paper. Why, why, why do I remain so resiliant and fearful?
    Thanks and I cannot wait to hear your suggestions! I will be there!

    • Christine Kane

      Yup. I hear ya! And please do be on that call when we announce it. I will definitely be addressing this issue!

  • Laurel

    Thank you for number 5, Christine! That is something I stumble on over and over. Now I know I can let go of the how and just do the next shown task and work on my art and have some fun with the whole thing. I don’t always have to be stuck in “how.”

    Loved the Gold Meeting — came home to howling Minnesota winds — time for hot tea.


    • Christine Kane

      Thanks Laurel! And yippy skippy! 🙂 Can’t wait to see what you create in the coming 90 days!

  • Jill

    Christine in regards to number 3 “ing” overdose…what are your thoughts on bringing up resistance from the subconscious mind and ways to not have that happen? I have heard some teachers/coaches say something like use a phrase like “I love the idea of being my ideal body weight”, or “I love it when I am my ideal body weight.” I can see the second one being more okay but I wonder about “love the idea” part. Would one just get more of loving the idea? Would love to hear your thoughts on this and thanks for the wonderful article 🙂

    • Christine Kane

      Great question Jill —

      I am always a fan of finding the language that best works for YOU.

      When a goal of mine is so amazing that it brings up the blocks and obstacles — I usually play with the language of my goal or intention until I can find a present tense way to word it. Sometimes just the willingness alone will breakthrough the block within a week!

      I do think, however, that at some point, it’s totally worth it to just say the scary big-ass intention and let the crap come up because otherwise I believe you are continuously holding yourself with kid gloves – and you’re telling your psyche that ‘yes indeed, this big goal is just too scary to intend.’ Does that make sense?

      Sometimes the muck that comes up will go away if you just allow the intention to take hold and be in present tense and just really go for it.

  • Andrea

    Dear Christine! I am in the Uplevel your Life right now and I feel like coming home! Thank you so much and I wll love to be in the teleclass! I also improve my English- it was not an obstacle that this isn’t my native language!
    Greetings from Switzerland- you reached sooooo far!!!

  • Stacey Smith

    I’m in the process of mastering #4. Practicing mindfulness and awareness, helps me avoid distractions and urgent (not important) tasks that can get me off track. Focus is key!

  • Stephanie Coradin

    This is a brilliant article – I’m guilty of # 1 and # 2 is soooooo funny and soooo true. I was nodding my head throughout the entire article. Thanks for the reminder Christine!

  • Jennifer Carson

    Thanks for another excellent article. #2 made me laugh out loud! Not only did I come from corporate, but from corporate technology consulting to large organizations – I think only the government can top it for gobbledy-gook speak. Fortunately, I no longer need to “pull together a straw-man to leverage best practices and benchmark achievable milestones,” and my soul is so much happier!

    • Christine Kane

      Here’s to never ever benchmarking anything again, Jennifer! 🙂

  • Shannon Bednowicz

    Thank you SO much Christine. Some of the points you make are subtle but powerful. Love this! And thank you again for the end of year unraveling. I can’t believe how much clarity I got while working through those questions!

  • Colleen

    Hi Christine!

    Wow! This was great! I’ve had a rough couple of days. I felt like maybe I should just throw in the towel and be a full time, stay at home mom. Then I read your ezine and it helped me to refocus my intentions. Thank you so much! I needed this. Count me in for your teleclass.

    Colleen Sedgwick

  • Christine Sutton

    My favorite part of this article is, “Dude. That is SO not gonna happen.”

    I actually chuckled when I saw the word “Dude”. It grabbed my attention and made me laugh because I’ve gotten hung up on this one myself. For a while, I was quite proficient at trying to release “resistance” in my life. I finally realized that is “SO not gonna happen”.

    Now I just notice the resistance and make a decision not to camp out there.

    • Christine Kane

      Christine – i like the image of “not camping out there.” Nice simple way to put it!

  • Elaine Callahan

    Christine, great article! Thank you.

    I laughed when I read it because I saw myself in way more than one or two of your examples. 🙂

    Now I am off to reshift my intention and focus.


  • Kathy

    The timing could not be better as I have been my own worse saboteur. Your post will give me guidelines and help me answer “What the heck do I want?” Thank you!