I'm at the same stage as you and I struggled with Goals too.
I suspect that one of the speed bumps to get over is thinking that the horizons must be a hierarchy in which you drill down from top to bottom, deconstructing as you go, or combining as you rise. Instead, I think of each of the horizons as serving my Purpose, but in different ways. I think David Allen chose the word 'horizons' very carefully for this reason. They represent different timescales as well as different levels of abstraction.
I think Areas of Focus are Key Success Factors. They serve your Purpose in that as long as you keep your eye on them and feed them with at least one project at any one time, your life will stay in balance and you will not lose momentum. Mechanically, they are quite simple, you just make sure that you have a best Next Project per AOF, in the same way you make sure you have a best Next Action per project.
Goals then are a way of adding extra drive in the medium term. You set yourself a target that is large enough to get you excited and is reachable in a reasonable period of time: Getting the job, passing with a distinction, moving into the house, etc. And these will behave like parent projects in that they follow the Natural Planning Method but then break down into projects rather than actions.
Reviewing AOFs and Goals for consistency, both up and down, would add confidence that all your systems are pointing in the same direction, but I don't think that Goals and AOFs need to be tightly coupled. They both generate Projects.
Anyway, that's as far as I have got in trying to add Goals to my system, but I'm re-reading Making It All Work now to try and get it right.
Last edited by pxt; 03-30-2011 at 03:36 AM.
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