Mills essentially makes the case for standards versus goals in this book. I think he makes it well, with a lot of points I could find agreement in. Lots of people have made critiques on traditional goal setting, but few come with satisfying alternatives, since at the end of the day, we all want to obtain a certain lifestyle that we not yet possess and we want a plan to make it so. Standards are attractive in that, unlike goals, standards are more likely to affect our actions and experience right now. Defining standards may be a more potent tool to bring about changes in behavior than goals. My only concern is that standards, like goals, can easily become just another unwelcome stressor to add to an already demands-driven lifestyle. Of course it's all how you set them. I find it hard to not set high standards, even though I might currently not be able meet them, which in turn brings about friction.
I think the main benefit of this book is that it gets you thinking about standards. Every person has them, even if they don't explicitly think about them. It's worth getting clear on your standards just for that. Great read.