A new millennium is as exciting as a New Year but much bigger. In the past a number such as 2000 seemed so big and far away. Now the year has come and gone and has been forgotten. Ten or fifteen years ago it was hard to visualize what it would be like in the year 2000 and beyond. Some of us probably had visions that half the population would be living in outer space or we would be wearing solar protective suits and oxygen masks due to a depleted ozone layer. With this New Millennium comes new excitement. Just as we get excited to begin a new year with new goals we call resolutions, you can imagine what kinds of newer and bigger resolutions we should make for the year 2000 and beyond. However, the problem with these new resolutions is how many of us actually follow through with them. I myself, make easy, non-specific general resolutions such as to save more money or exercise more. That way I do not feel bad about not following through because failure is vague and hard to pinpoint. We must have specific goals in order to have a target to aim for. Specific goals also give us something to measure our progress against. The same holds true in business. Businesses do not fail, people do. Some companies have paid thousands of dollars to a consultatnt for a strategic business plan and have failed to implement the plan. It would be found months or years later, collecting dust on the shelf; the same as a person would have a number of self-help books sitting on a shelf waiting to be read someday, with resolutions not reached. A good idea is worthless unless it is used, just as a great plan is worthless unless implemented and followed through. A business is parallel to a personal life. The phrase quality-in, quality-out, means that the raw materials going into a business must be quality going in to produce quality products. Imagine a toy company, for example, that uses cheap plastic and hires under-qualified employees. You know what the quality-out results will be; a toy that will break or that you cannot sell. The same applies to your personal life. If you want a quality life, you must input quality raw materials. For example, you must eat healthier, exercise more, develop higher qulity relationships, and do your part to reduce crime, hatred and the deterioration of the environment. A simple framework, used by the consultants and managers to analyze a business and develop a strategic plan, can be put to use in your personal life to create a better life for you and everybody else. This strategic analysis is commonly called the SWOT (strength, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) Analysis. This analysis examines closely your internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats. By administering this analysis to yourself, you can determine what internal strengths to increase, what internal weaknesses to eliminate, what external opportunities to expploit, and what external threats to prepare for the best. You must also keep in mind while doing this analysis, the best interests for you, for other people, and for the greatest benefit to the environment. I am not implying that you have to get up at 6:00 a.m. every morning and punch a time clock. some people will be more disciplined than others, just as some businesses are more successful and disciplined than others, in using the SWOT analysis and increasing their quality of life or successfulness of their business. I'm saying that if you just keep in mind what needs to change for the better in your life and make a conscious effort to change it, the quality of your life will increase damatically, and the positive attitude overflows will carry on to you business, friends, and job, which can also influence them for the better. What you must do is sit down and make a list using the SWOT analysis. It is a good idea to ask a close friend or family member for honest, constructive citicism in order for you to get an accurate idea of what you must work on to better yourself. Example topics I elaborate on in my book that can be used in your self analysis are;

Internal: Strength or Weaknesses?
Personal Finance
< Education/Knowledge

External: Opportunity or Threat?
Job opportunities

This list above has a few major things we must address in our personal SWOT analysis to make a better quality of life beyond the year 2000. Keeping in mind to not spend the majority of your energy majoring in minor things, we must address these issues and put our best effort forward to add to a collective effort, which is needed to make our personal friends-family, community, and world's lives and environments the best they can be. Collectively we can make a difference!

Author's Bio: 

Brent Felstead shares this excerpt from his top selling self-help book titled, "The 21st Century Survival Guide" which can be found at www.analyzelife.com.