The thing I have found to be the most important in magic, is knowing yourself and believing in yourself. Many find it hard to believe that they can do/create magic. Others believe in the impossible. If you fall into the second category, you need a reality check. Shape shifting, controlling the world or nature around you is improbable. Work on common sense. If you fall into the first category, here are some tips that might help:
If you can, spend an hour a day just meditating on your life and desires in a positive way.
If you want something, work on ways to get it. Things usually do not just happen without some form of encouragement or work.
Keep a journal and try to write in it daily. New things you do, people you meet and the things you sense around you. This helps you to be more aware of your life. When you are aware it is easier to sense a shift in your surroundings and to fix it if necessary.
Reaffirm every day that you can change things. You can do magic, you can and do effect the world around you. The majority of "Magic" is believing beyond a doubt that you can do it. Without belief you can only hope. You must believe in and visualize your success in all that you do.
I also suggest that you read "The secret" if you have not done so. There are a lot of helpful tips in the book. They discuss the fact that what you put out is returned to you.
Here is a little story my mum tells me when I forget to believe in myself. It is somewhat religious, probably off and sounds funny to me, but it works. Once upon a time the world was full of hate and sin. A young maiden and a carpenter discovered that regardless of their*cough* selibacy*cough* they were going to have a baby. People believed it to be a miracle. Three wise men traveled far to bring the child gifts, because they believed. Towards the end of his time, he gave his body to save our souls, because of his belief. He then rose again because of his belief, so that we could see the work of the lord. People have waged wars for belief. People have saved lives for belief. People have even overcome fears and quit addictions, just because they believed they could.
The whole point of the story, is that belief is strong. If you believe you can do something you have greater chances in doing it. If you go to write an essay and tell yourself over and over that you cant, chances are you will end up with little to nothing on your paper (or perhaps scribbles). Learn to believe in yourself, have some common sense, and make it happen :)
P.s. Please do not start wars and such just because that is in my mums story -.-