A lot of the problems I see when working with clients on a financial plans stem from a very simple lack of awareness. We are not aware of how much money we spend each day, each week, each month. We are not aware of what we should do each day to reach our short term or long term financial goals. We are not aware of how a contribution to a 401k plan today translates into income thirty years from now. We are not aware how much putting a $1,000 spending spree on a credit card will cost us over the next twelve months.
Awareness comes from practice. You have to train yourself to think about the moment and the future. Be aware that you are spending $50 for drinks tonight instead of saving for a great vacation. Be aware that that lunch out every day could cost thousands each year in retirement.
Be aware of what your goals are, so you can be aware of whether you are getting closer.