If you’re just getting started with a new financial goal, you may have an intimidating moment when the scope of your ambitious proposed outcome sinks in. Staring at a large numerical figure, you might think something along the lines of, “Wow, that’s a lot of money. This is going to be tough.”

Or, maybe you’ve been at it for a while and feel like you’re on an endless elliptical—mentally, you know you’re making progress, but you don’t feel like you’re moving even remotely close to your goal.

Whether it’s a three-to-six-month emergency fund, a large debt payoff or a car/house deposit, big financial objectives can be daunting. The road to success can feel long, winding, and even never-ending at times as you chip away on a massive goal without recognition or reward.

And yet, there are some encouraging principles you can leverage to boost your inspiration and perseverance. In situations like these, acknowledging—and celebrating—small wins can make all the difference.

“A huge body of research has shown that small wins have enormous power, an influence disproportionate to the accomplishments of the victories themselves,” writes Charles Duhigg in The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business. “Small wins fuel transformative changes by leveraging tiny advantages into patterns that convince people that bigger achievements are within reach.”

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