Fellow Reno, NV chess blogger Eric Shoemaker (Pale Rider) has some thoughts on improvement, and I particularly liked this:
5) Do not ever underestimate the value of the subconscious!! Ever!! Whatever you do study has a mysterious tendency to come up in your games. As a tournament player, you should be aware of this idea/fact!
And...if you have a problem that you want to solve in a position and can't get it solved right away, try taking a nap or sleeping on it. You might be surprised at what your subconscious comes up with upon wakening.
You should also look at Grandmaster Games, with notation or without, because the subconscious will pick up some of the ideas represented there. Your game will start to look a lot different before too long.
12) Have Ambition! You should want the World Championship! You probably won't make it as that title belongs to a really elite group: The Greats of Chess. But look at it this way, if you fall short, you'll be higher than if your goal was a paltry 100 points above your current rating.
A point well taken. Check out some of his other posts for an interesting and unconventional take on various chess-related subjects.