Augustine defines sin as disordered loves. We all love a variety of different things. I love God and I love sushi. I love my husband and I love a new pair of shoes. I love my children and I love a bold cabernet. Sin is when my loves get out of order.
When a friend trusts me with her story and I repeat it in gossip, I love my popularity more than my friend. That is sin. So then, repentance is first a confession that my loves are disordered. Second it is a turning away from the lessor love and towards the higher love.
An activity that helps me in self-reflection and prayer is simply to rank the things I love. Then, I ask myself if the thing I say I love most is getting the best time, energy, and focus of my life. If not, my loves are disordered and I have some work to do with the One who loves me best.
For more theological reflection, read: