If over the past year I haven’t learned Torah properly, I can ask Hashem to forgive me for my lack of diligence but I still remain lacking. It’s up to me to now fill in what I have lost. If I have had words with relatives of friends, it’s not enough to ask forgiveness. That takes care of the actual sin but the repair of the relationship still has to be done. And certainly in terms of the way that we treat our spouses, while we will ask forgiveness, and can expect it to be granted, the real work is looking forward and asking ourselves, “What can I do to make my marriage better?”
Teshuvah can eliminate the sin and make it as if it never happened, but it can’t make up for the lost opportunity. That can only happen with a course correction, accomplished with careful analysis of how we spend our time and asking ourselves the critical question: am I happy with the direction of my life?
The real work on Yom Kippur involves two parts – the teshuvah process and then changing.