A study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that when undergraduate students were asked to write about their “best possible selves” (a.k.a. goal setting), they experienced fewer illnesses at the 5-month follow-up than the control group. Writing down what their ideal self looks like actually made the participants healthier. And, the difficulty of your goals matters too. Big, tough, difficult goals are the best kind to set for yourself. Although you might think that a more difficult goal — which you are less likely to achieve and would require more work — would mean lower satisfaction, a study reported in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology found the opposite to be true. Individuals who set difficult work goals for themselves showed a stronger link between goal progress and well-being than individuals who set less difficult goals. By setting big goals, the study participants took greater satisfaction from any progress that they made toward the goal.