The common trap I used to fall into (and I am actually still falling into it) is to consider mostly your attacking possibilities, and not the opponent's one.
It usually happens this way: "How my god, my pieces are beautifully coordinated, I can probably put my Knight to f5, and then with the support of the Queen, g7 will be very weak. This is going to be a good game..."
And on the next move, your opponent checkmates you because you completely missed his bishop b7-Queen c6 configuration that was threatening a mate in 1.
So the meta-rule for me is:
- always think about the opponent's possibilities first. What is he threatening ? Do his pieces target some interesting squares ?
- Then think about what could be done to stop these threats. Possibly you have even bigger a threat so it is not actually necessary to deal with it. But at least you know it now
Then, when drilling down to the opponent's possibilities, it includes: is my King safe ? Are my pieces protected ? Is there a weak square he can reach ? Is there a forced series of moves that leaves him with the advantage ? Once you are sure that there is no problem left in your position, you can start thinking about your own attacking possibilities: is his King safe ? Are some of his pieces undefended etc.
You can find more pieces of advice on my blog: http://chesstrainerapp.blogspot.fr/