tl;dr #

Awareness is a principal of all skills. It comes first the rest follows.

What is Awareness? #

The quality of your mind is quality of your life - (unknown)

To me, awareness is an ability to see, to hear and feel with a fresh and open mind, without previously constructed notions and judgements about the subject of your attention.

This post is going to be heavy influenced by Buddhism since it uses awareness at the core of its teaching. What I like about Buddhism is its practical nature. You have to discover it for yourself. The trick with teachings is that they are beautiful and you could enjoy them all day long but practice matters. Practice is action-based, actions touch reality it makes your hands dirty and thus it might falsify constructed believes. So, it's a pathway to finding a Truth.

Everything is Changing - World, Me, You. Especially You. #

Impermanence is rooted in reality. If you look around yourself nothing is constant but change. Seasons are changing, planets are moving, the grass is growing, water is flowing.

As humans, we are good at picking patterns. We are learning constantly and our brain creates a picture of the world around us. We operate in accord with what we learned based on our experiences. However, the truth is that nothing stays the same. What was useful yesterday, today is no longer brings value. So, we are often stuck in old believes that no longer serve us and the people around us. So, sometimes we are stuck with believes and judgement which no longer reflect reality. Those judgements affect our behaviour and thus the people and world around us.

If you would like to be in tune with a reality you have to be in check with it. Pay attention, set aside your beliefs, judgements, notions. Look, listen and feel. Free your mind and be aware.

If You Don't Know Where to Start - Start with Awareness. #

You rarely go wrong with starting to pay attention to what is going on inside or outside of yourself.
First of all, it's a skill and as it goes with skills it becomes better when you practice it often. I consider the greatest discovery of Gautama Buddha is Vipassana. The Meditation of Insight. The world is full of different meditations, they might be good, but most likely you only need Vipassana. It would be enough for your to practise your skill of Awareness and be in tune with yourself and reality.
I have been benefiting from this practice almost after a month of practice. The level of alertness and ability to detach yourself from the situation was astonishing. This led to a significant improvement in my quality of life. Less stress, less Ego driven decisions, mind chattering and more focus on what is in front of you. I truly believe that these are the best things that you could do for yourself and the people around you. But please make sure that you do it right. There are a lot of things revolving around the meditation concept some of them quite questionable. I would recommend listening to Sam's Harris Waking Up. It was and still is my favourite gateway to the world of Insight into how your mind works. There are of course many other trustful sources but I find it the most accessible these days.

Summary #

You can start with awareness regardless of what you're doing. Whether you're about to plan your day or about to start a conversation or just sitting on a chair. You can make your experience way deeper than it is just by paying attention to what is going on inside and outside. Without rush to come to a conclusion or immediately to solve the problem that you're facing.
Be insightful - start with Awareness.