We actually have groundhogs in the south; and because we just saw the appearance of Po Phil, I was thinking about how absolutely industrious they are at times. Then they stop and look like they don’t know where they are or what they need to do next!

For those of you who remember the movie Groundhog Day, you may understand this “look.” It’s a look of repeating the same old thing over and over again.

You don’t have to be like Bill Murray in the movie (He actually resides in CHARLESTON!). You can stop repeating the same old mistakes, especially investing mistakes!

So, what do you need to do to avoid ending up in the same wrong position that you were in yesterday, the week before, and even last year? You take the right steps to begin your journey toward financial success.

Financial success is all about balance, having the right perspective along with the knowledge you need to make the right decisions. It also includes core values to life, and how you define what is most important to your happiness.

Perhaps for you, the idea of “more” is what motivates you to work and try even harder.  The idea of making more money means added security and the opportunity to have what you want when you want it.

“For others,” writes Michael Kay in Forbes Magazine, “the idea of financial success means “less”; as in, less debt, less stress, less possessions, less complications. Whether you consider yourself a “more” or “less” person, it’s all about perspective and the level of energy you are willing to invest in order to live aligned with your values.”

The problem, of course, is that you are subject to enticements, temptations and even, guilt and a constant array of marketing and advertising that seek to push you away from the goals you have set.

So, what is your best game plan? Write out your goals with your advisor and stick to them! Don’t be pulled off course or you’ll wake up feeling like an “extra” in the movie Groundhog Day!” You don’t want to circle back around; you want to go forward enjoying life as you go.

Businessman, columnist, economist Mohaned El-Erian says, “Investors have to ask themselves two questions: How much can we grow our investments? And, can we afford our mistakes?”

Below is a list of tips and insights on how to move forward successfully and leave the mistakes behind.

Be Honest with where you are financially and where you want to go. When you make a financial mistake own it, don’t run away. Take time to analyze why it happened. Did you ignore the advice of your advisor? Make an impulse purchase or did you refuse to follow the budget you and your advisor created?  A budget is a roadmap to financial success. Drift away from it, and you will end up in dangerous waters!

Identify the reason for the mistakes. There are many reasons why people make financial mistakes.

Here are just three:

  • You see something you want, and you buy it regardless of what your budget allows.
  • You follow a trend or “the crowd” and purchase items that are not aligned with your budget. In fact, they are way outside your financial plan!
  • You become careless and take your eyes off the final goal, which is investment wealth and/or retirement and a life well lived!

The best thing to do when you make a mistake is to admit it and begin again—right where you are. Wisely put into place the boundaries needed to prevent you from repeating what you have just done!

Replace wrong behaviors with correct ones. This takes practice, discipline, and focus. Every budget has a category for travel, entertainment, and relaxation. Tell yourself the truth! It’s not all work and savings, but it is accountability.

In my book Perfect Day, I teach you how to learn about finances and take an active role in your future. Put your energy, time, and money into your own life. Meet the needs of yourself and your loved ones first in the right way. Then allow your business to grow around these vital priorities.

Let’s face it: You work to have more later. Or you can work to enjoy your retirement now and not have anything later in life.

Stop procrastinating! Begin today. Don’t stand on the sidelines or shuffle through feelings of regret. My clients know that this Chinese proverb is true: The best day to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now!

Saving for retirement is without a doubt the most important financial goal you set. If possible, you should make a minimal $6,000 ($7,000 if over 50) retirement savings contribution annually. But the true secret to true financial security and peace of mind is not just having more money in the bank. It’s in knowing how to control what you already have.

A trusted financial advisor can show you how to create a budget that works and a financial investment plan that will care of you in the years to come. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with me today and let’s make a plan for you that will work today, tomorrow, and into the future.