My ADD coaching clients find that developing new habits isn’t a snap. Our biological systems are designed to favor efficiency and consciously instituting a new habit isn’t as efficient as repeating an established one.
I personally have been trying to develop a new habit when I race my small sailboat, a Laser. I forget to check exactly where the wind is blowing from at any given minute. During a race the wind direction can shift back and forth and if you react to that shift you can gain more on an unobservant competitor than by any other means.
But it’s hard to remember to check the wind when you’re trying to trim your sails, balance the boat and watch out for other boats. The starting place for me was a fairly rigid rule – every time I glance at the wind vane I would also compare where I was steering to something on shore to check whether there has been a shift.
Rigid rules feel constraining and tickle my resistance, but I know that if I bear with them for a while a more natural, less rigid process will begin to emerge – I will develop a new habit that flexes with the changing situation and eventually that habit will become the efficient, unconsciously one.