After a disappointing loss in the Iowa caucus, Hillary Clinton made a surprising comeback this past week, securing a narrow victory in the New Hampshire primary. It's a bit early for me to get excited about the 2008 presidential campaign, but the bold headlines hooked me. "How significant is this victory?" I wondered.

First thing I did was follow the money trail. In a capitalistic society, the import of an item or event can normally be gauged by its cost. Combined, the candidates spent 50 million dollars on the New Hampshire campaign. Roughly $200 per expected voter. Wow... By now I'm positive that a victory in this state must be vital. Seems that all the political pundits agree.

I was in for a real shock when I found the real numbersSo I was in for a real shock when I found the real numbers. There are 3,197 Democratic Convention delegates up for grabs. At stake in New Hampshire were exactly 22. Compare that with New York's 232 or California's 370. Better yet: since the state's delegates are allotted to the various candidates based on how many votes they get, and since the margin of victory was so slim, Senator Clinton got exactly the same amount of delegates as the runner up — they got 9 each.

50 million dollars and many months of tireless effort — for 9 delegates?!

It doesn't add up. Why do the candidates expend so much time, money and effort on a seemingly trivial contest when substantially more consequential races are on the horizon? Why is the Clinton camp overjoyed by a victory that gained them nothing?

Apparently momentum has little to do with hard numbers. A victory is a victory no matter how slim the margin, even if there is little or no practical advantage gained.

And one victory has a way of leading to another.

With so many goals to reach, heights to scale, habits to master and weaknesses to conquer, it's easy to just hoist up the white flag and concede defeat. We may not be happy with the person staring back at us from the mirror, but changing that image is so hard. Heaven knows that we've tried more than once, but the challenge is so formidable.

Get started on a winning streakThe trick is to get started on a winning streak. Start with your personal Iowa or New Hampshire. Tackle a small obnoxious habit, one that won't be so difficult to master. Leave California and Texas for a later date. Focus all your attention, determination, resolve and resources on this battlefield. You'll be surprised at how easily that poor little habit meekly falls when faced with the massive campaign and no-holds-barred assault you will coordinate.

Relish your victory. Make a victory speech if it suits you — let your family and friends know about your accomplishment. Now find a small mitzvah you've always wanted to incorporate into your daily or weekly schedule. Unleash all you've got, and notch another victory.

With the momentum you are building, pretty soon you will be ready for California.