Etymologically, the word "repent" mainly means "regret"--that you feel heavy sorrow for something. I've often heard that theologically it means to turn around and walk a different direction--that you do a 180. Both of these are true and helpful definitions. We, of course, need to be regretful of the wrong we do and stop doing sinful actions.
But sometimes stopping and turning around isn't enough. I was reading a fiction book last night that described repenting as not only stopping and turning, but resetting our minds. It isn't enough to just stop sinning or walk in a different direction. We need to look at our thought patterns, trying to understand why we turn to sin in the first place. If we don't do that, we will most likely return to our sins.
Of course, there's more to it than that--we need the Holy Spirit's help and to confess our sins. But personally, I'm finding this idea of needing to change our thought patterns as well as actions helpful. I know I've got sinful patterns in my life that I try to stop, but keep coming back to because I don't look at my thought patterns. Now, I just need to be more mindful of my mind in all this.