one step forward, two steps back


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one step forward, two steps back

Marked by a small amount progress that is then eradicated by a large amount of setbacks, problems, or difficulties. So many administrative hurdles have been thrown up along the way that this whole project has been one step forward and two steps back ever since we began!
See also: back, one, step, two

one step ˌforward, two steps ˈback

(saying) used to say that every time you make progress, something bad happens that means that the situation is worse than before: Trying to get the law changed has been a frustrating business. It’s a case of one step forward, two steps back.
See also: back, one, step, two
References in periodicals archive ?
It's a clear case of one step forward, two steps back for the once-proud movie fiesta that championed such exceptional films as 'Himala,' 'Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon?
IT was a case one step forward, two steps back for Manchester United as they were made to wait to seal their Champions League knockout place.
It has often seemed like one step forward, two steps back under Caixinha but now there's a real chance to build some momentum.
It's sometimes one step forward, two steps back with a young team, but I think we learned some of the lessons from the last couple of weeks.
It's one step forward, two steps back for some states' attempts to set up state-run retirement plans.
This season has been a case of one step forward, two steps back for the most part with an early exit from the FA Cup and an inability to break into the top half of the National League frustrating manager Steve Burr, his squad and fans in equal measure.
This season has been a case of one step forward, two steps back for the most part, with manager Steve Burr frustrated by an early exit from the FA Cup and an inability to break into the top half of the National League.
The jury is clearly still out at Walsall where many feel it's a case of one step forward, two steps back.
RRW set the ball rolling by describing the process as "indescribably tortuous", characterising it as one step forward, two steps back and labelling the demands from the Union as "completely unacceptable".
It has been one step forward, two steps back for this nation of 85 m, where a largely youthful unemployed population lacks the means of channelling talents and energies.
Turkey's moves to turn itself into a democratic society are in the form of one step forward, two steps back.
It seems it's a case of one step forward, two steps back in the ongoing saga between Manny Paquiao and Floyd Mayweather, writes Marvin France.
One step forward, two steps back has been pretty much the dance pattern for Aston Villa and their manager.