I understand what you are saying about the difficulty of an intentional practice. I was doing a set of shape-mind (xing-yi) exercises that I learned from a book for a long time, and then last fall I just stopped doing them.
I still rely on the sense of location in consciousness, and relaxation. I remind myself that if I stay with consciousness and let myself relax, feeling will open up. I remind myself about how aversion, attraction, or ignorance can condition the place of occurrence of consciousness, and I look for it, to calm myself.
If I discover I have cut off the breath, I look for the pitch, yaw, and roll that every thing is showing me. That’s about it for my practice, now.