Over the years I have come across situations where I taught my clients different movement patterns as a supposedly better alternative to their habitual movement patterns, somehow those new movement patterns never stuck to them. One day out of blue they started adapting and using the new movement patterns automatically. I always wondered why that might have occurred. I wondered if they didn't do their "homework," so they didn't adapt.
One day I was playing with my 7 month old son. He could roll over pretty well, but couldn't still pull himself forward on the floor, so I put a few toys on the floor, thinking he would try to reach for them and maybe would pull himself forward. He didn't care enough to even attempt to reach. Then, he started crying because he was getting hungry. So I went to grab a bottle and he was staring at the bottle with such excitement. As soon as I put the bottle on the floor, he quickly rolled over and started pulling himself forward so desperately. He just learned army crawl! Just like his father, he LOVES FOOD. Food is very important for him, more than anything it seems. Food draws 100% of his nervous system's attention. His nervous system organizes movement patterns to allow him to accomplish his goal, that is to get to food and eat.
That's made me think about my clients who adapt to new patterns fast and those who don't. I think this has a lot to do with whether those movement patterns are perceived as meaningful and salient by the nervous system. When I say nervous system, I'm talking about what's happening at subconscious level. I think this is why changing habits is so difficult as it requires a shift at subconscious level, or very strong will power. And, this is why it's so important to think about functional contexts and meaning around particular movements you're practicing, not just repeating the same movement mindlessly.