Start with a light, solid color yarn so you see every stitch. Pay attention to what they look like so you can recognize the difference between front and back (and eventually knit and purl).
STAY LOOSE! (Tension) The biggest mistake most beginners make is making their work too tight. Hold your yarn loosely. Watch the free videos here to learn how to hold your yarn. Practice that part by itself until the yarn feels comfortable going through your fingers and you don't have to think about what to do when you change needles or pick up your knitting after a break.
Relax, be patient with yourself. Laugh. Enjoy.