Like any other aircraft there is no one trick on the 172 that will make everything easy.
My suggestion for you is to study, not only the theory part but the practical. Before you go flying sit down and think about what you did last lesson, what you will be doing this lesson. What can you improve how can you improve. Also do some chair flying, sit in a chair and go over all your procedures. For instance when you are configuring for a stall, when you say flaps down, think about checking your airspeed if you are below 110 think about how you can only go flaps 10 and when you are at 85 you can go full flaps. At that time lean out to where you flap selector is and put flaps down. Although you might feel dumb doing this, you will see improvement in your flying!
A couple books that will help you do such things, one is called the Airplane Flying handbook, which has all teh manuvers you will be doing, so you can read ahead, and think about them before going in the plane. There is also a blue pastic cover book called 'Visualized Flight Maneuvers Handbook For Students' That will help you with your chair flying!
My biggest peice of advice is enjoy your flying! Do not be in a rush to get your license, training is great fun. About the 172, make sure your cargo door is closed (I have made that mistake and you feel pretty dumb), use your rudders, the pedals are there for more then just taxing, If you are flying an older model do not use full flaps (40 degrees) it creates too much drag, and if you have to go around, you have to be really quick to get them up and power in! I used to only put them down over the fence just to assist slowing me down, however I could normally tell at that time, if I was going around! Also remember when you are of teh green arc on the tach carb heat on!
Well I think that is enough for now,
PS I get to go flying tomorrow!
I have not flown since Feb 7th, as it costs $210 to rent a 152 over here!