The most annoying method/habit/approach-to-magic that I have yet to get rid of 100% is the "Do the spell and leave the issue alone" tendency. It's kind of a sub-habit of "Do the spell and forget it" practice taught in Wicca and NeoPagan magic. You have the issue, and you do the one spell to address the issue, and then take the attitude that the one spell will solve the whole thing.
(BTW To the British: I love you guys! You have such nifty words!)
But don't get me wrong; part of it is my own laziness. I'm working on it!
So, a good friend of mine (let's call her Jewel) was unemployed. The job market has not been kind to her for the past couple years. She finally gets a job interview, and decides to ask me for help. I figured the first thing to tackle was the interview. So I decided to do a dual-action type of spell using candles and a petition paper.
For the petition paper I wrote down Jewel's first, middle, and last names 7 times. Then, I rotated the paper a quarter turn clockwise, and wrote "Success at the (whatever/date/it was) job interview 7 times, crossing it over her name. Then, I five-spotted it with VanVan oil.
Next came the candles. First I took a 4-inch orange candle. I carved her name on it from top to bottom, and did the same on the other side with the phrase "JOB INTERVIEW SUCCESS". I dressed it in VanVan, set it in its holder and put it dead in the center of the petition paper.
Then I took a 4-inch yellow candle. I carved her name into it the same way, and on the other sides carved "OPEN ROADS". I dressed it with Road-Opener oil, set it in its holder, and (going from my intuition) set it in the lower-left corner of the petition.
I gathered power, invoked, said a prayer, and empowered everything there. I lit the orange candle, then the yellow one, and that was that for the evening.
Jewel's interview was the next day, in late-mid afternoon. I was stupid and forgot to bring the petition paper with me, so I made another from a printout of a digital photo of Jewel. I made it the same way: Her name 7 times with the petition statement crossing it 7 times.
When the time rolled around, I opened my usual way (Universal Center, Pillar, Invocation of the Agathodaimon). Then I placed my hands over the paper in a Triangle of Manifestation and said a brief prayer to the powers of Jupiter. Specifically, I asked that Jewel be granted success in the job interview she was going through right that moment, that she be calm and confident and in every way impressive. Then, I chanted Jason's "Song of the Serpent" for a while before concluding my efforts.
This method of casting during the relevant event is something I picked up from Gordon, in a post on Enchanting in Real Time.
That evening I asked Jewel how she thought the interview went. She reported that she thought it went really well. And despite the urgings of my intuition, I farted around for the entire evening, deciding to wait and hear the results whenever.
And guess what??? SHE DID NOT GET THE JOB!
However! She did so well in the interview, and impressed her interviewers so much, that they referred her to another position that was offered to her after a mere follow-up phone interview. The position offered pays less than the one she wanted, but it is full-time hours.
In short, this was a case where I lost sight of the primary goal, which was the particular job Jewel wanted. I did the spell for success in the job interview, and it worked but didn't hit the goal. And therein lies the lesson I learned:
Always keep the primary goal in mind!
In Strategic Sorcery we are taught to hit a goal or issue from multiple angles. In fact, it's a concept that has gained popularity among the sorcerous blog-o-sphere. But when doing so, don't forget the main goal! If I had followed this advice, I would have followed up the real-time enchanting with another working for her to get the job itself!
So from now on I'm going to try harder to leave the "One spell on the issue" tendency in the dust, where it belongs.