The traditional examination of conscience draws the penitent through characteristics of the Seven Deadly sins and the Contrary Virtues. Why not look at the virtues first and then the opposing vices? Perhaps vices are more interesting and noticeable. After all, "the most interesting sinners make the greatest saints." Virtues tend to be subtle, understated, taken for granted. If a person writes a list of your virtues on a piece of paper and hands it to you, you'd probably dispute the list. If that same person wrote a list of your vices, you might not only experience surprise but anger that you've been found out. Worse, you might not associate yourself with the vices other people ascribe to you!
The most dangerous sins are the ones we don't recognize in ourselves. A named sin is a sin mortally wounded. More often, however, our vices lurk in the shadows of our days, behind our speech, coiling throughout our unchecked thoughts, infecting our unexamined principles, sickening our souls, effecting the people with whom we live and work. Our sins achieve maturity in strengthening the common sins of a culture and society we're too ignorant to resist.
Naming the sins is most effective as a daily practice. Watching thoughts as they arise and gently noting and directing them. Reflecting upon actions. Adjusting to changes in life. Responding to ever widening challenges of love. Better to repent often and well, joyfully with laughter than to wait for a crises to overwhelm and discourage you. Why suffer in sin when healing is offered every moment by the gentle grace of God?