There is a conversation I have once a week, sometimes once a fortnight. It is with a player or the parent of a talented youngster, who would like to have private tuition, either short term or continuously. At the moment this is not something I am ready to do for the payment people are willing to pay. There are just too many projects I need to bring to completion.
But this article is not supposed to be about whining, but a longer reply to the last person who asked me to help her daughter make decisions better and faster. It is, in short, a guide to using my books.
The first point I want to make is the most fundamental one, and thus also the one that is most far reaching and most difficult to implement.
In order to improve your chess abilities, you will have to think in a different way.
There are other ways to improve in chess: physical form (not greatly effective, but it does a lot for your health!), openings (they go out of date and you forget them, still a good position is easier to play), memorising theoretical endings (worthwhile doing, but this needs updating too), calculating faster (similar to sprint training for physical athletes, something you lose if you don’t maintain it) and others.
All of these are worth doing and if you are ambitious, you are probably doing some of them and aware that you should be doing the others as well!
But if you can improve the way you think chess, you will really get ahead.