Always bring your camera
The number one reason why people miss good pictures is because they don't have a camera. Make it a habit to always carry a camera with you, because you never know what you could miss.
If you think you shoot enough - you don't. Especially if you have a digital camera, because there is no added cost to taking more photographs. Why take just one picture if you can take several? Are you in a place you may never visit again? Take a picture, because even the most boring day to day scenes can become historical in just a few years of time.
trust your eye
Studying laws of composition is fine, but when it comes down to you must trust your eye. When you frame the shot, move the camera and explore the scene. When you find an angle or composition that FEELS good to you, take the picture immediately. You can (and should) get several more shots.
train your eye
Look at the pictures you have taken and critique your own work. Did the image turn out like you planned? Do you like the composition? This self-review stage is essential for you to improve your photographic "spider-sense".
know your camera
You don't need to memorize every feature right away, but over time you should be comfortable enough so that operating your camera becomes second nature. It's like learning to shift gears or ride a bicycle - only when the machine becomes transparent are you really driving.
always work on a copy
This essential guide is new for the era of digital photography. Remember that until you make a backup copy your digital photo is a one of a kind original. Make it a habit to make copies immediately after loading them from your camera, even before looking at them! Back up your images onto removable media as often as you can.