Self-improvement usually comes as a result of taking a sober deliberate step towards becoming a better person and making the best out of whom you are. Self-improvement is not a journey for the cowards and the lazy bones, because there is no promise that you will be all smiles as you walk this path.
You need to make a sober decision from the word go, and you should have a clear definition of what it is that you want and why you want it. You should then synchronize every part of your being towards the realization of this goal.
The first step you need to take is to study your life from all angles so that you can pick up any area of your life that needs improvement. These are most probably the weakest areas of your life. If you are able to admit to yourself that you have a weak point and that you are not perfect, then you are ready for change. This is because there are so many people who have a problem even admitting to themselves, let alone to others, that they are wrong or that they have a certain weakness. For such people, self-improvement is just another cliché, and it can never work for them.
Once you have identified the weak points that need improvement, work on your mind. This is the tool where every wrong mentality about things is stored. If you have the wrong belief toward anything, especially anything that relates to your weak points, then self-improvement can be a very fruitless journey for you. You have to do away with every perception that tampers with your esteem and positive attitude.
The most effective way of changing your negative mentality to a positive one is by first changing your company. Birds of a feather flock together, and you will never be beyond what you constantly surround your life with. If you hang around people who have the wrong mentality towards something, you will dance to the same tune sooner than later. Therefore, if you hang around people who are positive and people who believe in you, then it will not take a long time before you rise above your limitation.
Also, as you journey on self-improvement, do self-evaluation. This will help you know whether you are progressing or not. As you do this, try as much as possible to avoid putting your main focus on the wrongs you have done, as this will demoralize you.