The STARS™ Model: Six Steps for Setting Your Three Intentions for 2016

Marissa Levin
Marissa Levin
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abraham-lincoln-quote-jan-2014_dfIn my recent Inc. Magazine column, “Why You Should Ditch Your Goals for 2016,”, I briefly mentioned my STARS™ Model that I created and am now using with my clients to help them set non-negotiable intentions for 2016. Intentions are not merely outcomes. They reflect a mindset that failure is not an option.

NOTE: While I created the model for leaders of organizations, you can apply the principles to YOU! What outcomes do you want to achieve personally this year? Because intentions are a mindset – a way of thinking and behaving – you can set your own intentions for how you want to evolve and show up in the world. Perhaps you have outcomes that are physical, intellectual, or spiritual in nature. What is standing in the way of achieving them? This model and the worksheets I provide can help you move through your personal barriers to growth as well.

Here is an overview of my STARS™ Model:

The intention must clearly state what is to be achieved, by whom, where and when it is to be achieved. Not all of these questions will apply to every intention, but it is important to ask all the questions in order to assess how specific your intention is and make it as clear as possible.

The intention must be big. It must be game-changing. If you are going to devote significant time, energy, and resources to making it happen, it must deliver a massive move forward. Change is hard and painful. Committing to a transformational intention, with a definite completion date, is a mental exercise that requires total commitment. (This aligns with Sean Covey’s X to Y by When model in “The Four Disciplines of Execution.”

You should ensure that your intention is achievable. First, you must believe that you can do what you are setting out to do. If you set an intention that is unbelievable even to yourself, it is very unlikely you will achieve it. In a group setting, agreement and participation in the STARS intention setting process is equally important. Second, the intention must actually be possible, not just desirable.

Be careful however, that you do not limit yourself based on what other people believe to be achievable or not. Set your own standards by understanding your own abilities, strengths and weaknesses.

Your goals must be relevant to:

1. exactly where you are right now in the market
2. where your customers are in the market
3. where your market is going.

Sometimes you can be tempted to do something simply because it is easy and sounds great, only to discover later on that is has no connection to what is happening.

Your intention must align to an overarching strategy. It must roll up to the overall vision and mission, and must align with the organization’s core values.

In my work with my clients, I apply an in-depth process, which is part of our TransformU™ system, to move through these steps:

1. Write Down Your Intention. Using as few words as possible, write down your intention.

2. Make Your Intention SPECIFIC. Answer who/what/where/how/when.
How will this intention manifest? What will it look like in the end?
List three specific action steps you will take.

3. Make Your Intention TRANSFORMATIONAL.
Explain how this intention will transform you, your organization inside, or your overall business in the market.

When will this happen?

4. Make Your Intention ACHIEVABLE. What additional resources do you need for success?

5. Make Your Intention RELEVANT.
Why do you want to reach this intention?
How does it relate to your current situation?
How does it connect to the current market conditions and trends?
How is this intention relevant to your customers?

6. Make Your Intention STRATEGIC.
How does this Intention support your overall company strategy?
What is your company mission?
What is your company vision?
What are your company’s core values?
How does this Intention align directly to these elements?

This is the first phase of the STARS™ Model. We then incorporate additional tools from the TransformU system to create an accountability system, and measurable weekly goals. We also critically evaluate how my clients are spending their time to ensure every activity and decision is aligned to a stated intention.
I hope this model is helpful in jumpstarting you on an intentional 2016. Please let me know how I can help you, or your internal teams within your organizations, live and lead from a place of intent, rather than hope.

Good luck!


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About Successful Culture
We work with business owners, CEOs, and leadership teams that want to achieve their greatest personal & organizational potential. Through coaching, strategic consulting, retreat facilitation, and workshops, we equip leaders & emerging leaders with the mindset, tools, strategies, and processes they need to excel.

Ready to move forward? Email us today at [email protected].

Connect with me on Instragram, Facebook, and Twitter. Engage with me during my morning Periscope sessions as well (@marissalevin).

Please check out my Inc. Magazine columns on my Author Page too.
– In my latest Inc, article, I share The Essential Guide to Avoiding Workplace Text, Email, & Social Media Disasters.
– Learn about the 9 Leadership Behaviors that Lose Employee Trust & Respect here.

~Marissa Levin
CEO, Successful Culture
“Taking Leaders from Triage to Transformation.”


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