"Shaping up" is an interesting and useful phrase in English. When you are shaping something you are changing it in some way so that it becomes the form you wish it to be. If you're a sculpture you may shape the clay. A body builder wants to shape his muscles. Of course you already know what "up" means, it's a direction, but it's also a positive feeling. Are you feeling up or down today? I'm feeling very up thank you.
"I was depressed yesterday but things are shaping up today" - means that things are changing in some positive way today.
"I'm shaping up the yard this weekend. I have a lot of weeds to pull." - means you're going to spend the weekend working in your yard and making it look nice and the way that you want it to look.
"How is your new book shaping up?" - this question asks if the book is becoming what you want it to be, and if the writing is going well.
"I want to learn French, it's very difficult but things are slowly shaping up." - means I'm slowly acquiring the language.