go a long way toward doing
go a long way toward (doing something)
To be particularly helpful or useful in achieving some action or goal. Don't do anything rash—patience will go a long way toward bringing you allies in this situation. You know, apologizing would go a long way toward mending your friendship with John.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
go a long way toward doing somethingand go a long way in doing something
Fig. almost to satisfy specific conditions; to be almost right. This machine goes a long way toward meeting our needs. Your plan went a long way in helping us with our problem.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
go a long way toward
Have considerable effect or influence on. For example, This argument goes a long way toward proving the scientists are wrong, or, as Eudora Welty put it in The Ponder Heart (1954): "It went a long way toward making him touchy about what Uncle Daniel had gone and done." This idiom, then put as go a great way toward, was first recorded in 1697.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.