1) Ask the great people on here for help - very friendly place, loads of great advice.
2) Don`t try and learn to much to soon - Learn in parts
3) using maya 8 - turn of interactive creation
create>polygon primatives>interactive creation
biggest mistake autodesk have made so far - tring to turn maya into 3Dmax.
(infact I think the only mistake so far)
good luck with the learning.