Once we realize something needs to change, we then need to pinpoint what exactly should be changed. First we acknowledge that God alone has the power to help us change, then we must start tuning in to the movements in our thoughts and actions for this is how we discern what we need to work on. Daily self examination is recommended. We should be doing this throughout the day, but especially at the end of the day taking a general inventory is needed. Through an introspective consideration of one's own thoughts, desires, actions and emotions, we take a moral inventory. This requires a close look at how we sin in thought, word, and action. This would also include examining things in the day that caused anxiety, frustration, dissatisfaction, and despondency. If done with complete honesty the sins and passions that cause us harm will be revealed. Only then can look our mistakes square in the eyes and, as St. John Chrysostom says, condemn them, “for he who condemns his sins is slower to fall into them again.”
If we can self reflect, we can often discover the causes. Initially we may tend to blame a situation or another person, but in the end, we are solely accountable for our interior disturbances.
In frequent self examination we may see patterns of deeply roots passions and habits. This helps us to see where we must swing the axe to chop the passion down. A simple prescribed self examination loosely based on the one used by St. John of Kronstadt can be seen here.