Thanks for the comment from Pale Morning Dun who read my post on the 8 ways to guarantee you finish the seven circles and also mentioned this vital piece of information:
You have to play games!
Very true. You can't make your rating go up unless you play rated games and win.
I can definitely see the standard of my chess improving - far fewer games where I blunder a piece or a pawn. And the beauty part is, I'm actually winning and drawing against people that are 400+ points above me.
Australian ratings only come out once every three months, but hopefully I'll get a chance to play in a bunch of rated games between now and the end of the year and see some fruit from my "labors of de la Maza".