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Don't Let All Your Efforts Go to Waste Because You Lost Momentum Being intentional with the way you practice skills is the best way to avoid the "zero effect."

By David Meltzer Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Practice does not make perfect. If the old saying were true, there'd be billions of perfect people out there.

It's deliberate practice that allows you to steadily progress with whatever skills you're looking to improve.

Psychologist K. Anders Ericsson studied the habits of violinists and introduced the famous "10,000-Hour Rule" highlighted in Malcolm Gladwell's book, Outliers. Ericsson found that "deliberate practice" is one of the key differences between the most successful violinists and the mediocre ones.

His study, published in 1993, showed that individual differences in performance can largely be accounted for by practice habits, both past and current. While deliberate practice does not explain all the differences in performance, since other studies have determined that genetics is also a factor, this deliberate approach is something you can control.

What is deliberate practice? It's a focused daily routine as opposed to randomness (i.e., practicing only when you're "in the mood").

Related: 3 Proven Ways to Stay Consistent, Meet your Goals and Realize Your Dreams

Quality, not quantity

I would argue that it's not the number of hours that are practiced, but the quality of practice.

Practice can be sloppy when it's done halfheartedly: practice for the sake of practice. Deliberate practice is never sloppy. It is mindful. You intend to improve certain aspects of a skill and act based on that intention.

Be sure you are deliberate in the adjustments you make to your practice routine.

The consistent, persistent enjoyment of that practice (your pursuit of your potential) gives you exponential acceleration in what you're trying to achieve. When you practice something every day, or at least focus in on it every day, even for a minimal amount of time, you get an exponential accelerator that attracts more of what you receive.

Related: 6 Tips to Help You Follow Through on Your Goals

Thoughts, actions and acceleration

Your body works within a 24-hour context and creates a cellular memory that you have. This memory needs input every day, and that input is your 10,000 new thoughts or actions. Those move on to the subconscious, where there are 40,000 of the same thoughts or actions every day. You can change these thoughts to a higher vibration with deliberate practice. Retraining your brain with strategies like meditation and Cancel-Clear-Connect allows you to form neural pathways that create efficiencies, effectiveness and statistical success.

With deliberate practice, the 40,000 thoughts that create those neural pathways can rewire your brain, which will help accelerate or exponentially attract what you desire. The interesting thing is that most people, whether it's working out, nutrition, golf or some sort of business or relationship focus, think they're doing this every day.

What really happens is that they may go five or six days, building exponential momentum, which I'll call "X," before all that momentum gets wiped away. These people get the benefits of X to the first power, then X to the second power, X to the third power, X to the fourth power ... but on the fifth day, after failing to practice, they get an X to the zero power. Any momentum that they've built dissipates and is gone.

Related: 6 Ways to Hold Yourself Accountable and Crush Your Goals This Year

Zero is no hero.

Why do I call this "zeroing out"?

In physics, a zero-point energy or a ground state energy is the lowest possible energy that a quantum mechanical system can have.

This level of energy is the same for people who are "zeroed out." They have the lowest possible momentum toward their goal -- no energy pushing them forward.

That is why so many of us seem as if we are taking actions toward a goal (like dieting or working out) all month long, but after the month is up, there is no progress overall. When we don't take deliberate action on the sixth day or the 18th day or the 21st day (or all three), we get a zeroing out effect.

Although you might perceive yourself as doing something every day, consistently and persistently, you have zeroed yourself out and you don't get the results you want.

Don't create a zero effect in your life!

Be consistent, persistent and deliberate. You might not be absolutely perfect, but you will certainly progress.

David Meltzer

Co-Founder of Sports 1 Marketing, Speaker, Author and Business Coach

David Meltzer, co-founder of Sports 1 Marketing and host of Entrepreneur's podcast, “The Playbook”, is a Top 100 Business Coach, global public speaker and three-time international best-selling author who has been honored by Variety as “Sports Humanitarian of the Year”.

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