Villa - currently 13th in the Premier League - drew with Swansea on Saturday to end a run of four straight defeats and Lambert believes it is a positive sign heading into 2014.
He said: "The top five or six will always be that as there's too much money there because there is so much emphasis on the Champions League.
"The revenue is too much and the players have X amount of millions. We're not in that position at the moment, this is a building block of players that will make a right good go at it. You have to keep building this club.
"That project will take however long (owner) Randy Lerner gives me. That's the bottom line. It's not rocket science when you look at the number of managerial changes. Nothing is certain in football.
"But we're three points from 10th. That's not a bad place to be, there's so far to go in this league, anything can happen. You look at the massive clubs down there, there's no divine right, you have to earn it in this league."
Sunderland remain bottom of the Premier League table after coming from 2-0 down to earn a draw at Cardiff but have closed in on the teams above them in recent weeks.
"They are a club (that) not a lot of people would not have to be where they are," said Lambert.
"Gus (Poyet) has gone in there after another manager change and has tried to pick the club up.
"It's tough when you are down there, we were down there last season and you have to grind through it, but it is a big job."
Villa have performed better on the road than at home this season,
suffering just three defeats away from Villa Park and Lambert hopes they can repeat their win on Wearside last season.
"There is always pressure playing at home because of the fanbase but our away form has been pretty good, and we have had a few big players not playing for us," he said.
"But our away form has been pretty good and there is less pressure there as you don't have the majority of the crowd on your side.
"We did well there last season and we will go and try and win there again."