Monday, January 06, 2020

How Real Change Begins

“A new day begins when I wake up, not at midnight. Midnight means nothing to me. It’s not a turning point. Nothing changes at that moment. A new year begins when there’s a memorable change in my life. Not January 1st. Nothing changes on January 1st.” - Derek Sivers

As we look out on a new year (and a new decade!) it is usually a time to think about change. What are your goals for this year? What things have you wanted to do in your life and 2020 is the time you want to go after them?

I read a good blog post recently from Derek Sivers (and you should be reading his blog and listening to his short podcasts.) And in it he says that change doesn’t begin on January 1, it begins when we start something new. Change begins when we pursue a new project, learn a new craft, move towards an experience that will grow us.

“Your year really begins when you move to a new home, start school, quit a job, have a big breakup, have a baby, quit a bad habit, start a new project, or whatever else. Those are the real memorable turning points — where one day is very different than the day before. Those are the meaningful markers of time. Those are your real new years.” - Derek Sivers

Change Your Life with a New Project

Sometimes the best way to live your dream is to dive right into it. Find someone who can lead you through a new creative project, whether it’s building something, creating a new piece of art, or recording and marketing a new single or group of songs. Just going through the process can bring about great change and learning in your craft. It can lead to an entirely new life and body of work.

Often, we wait for years to finally step out and into the life we always wanted. In order to really make a change this year, start a new project.

“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” - Pablo Picasso

Change Begins with Learning

Maybe you are more interested in learning an artistic or creative skill. Perhaps you want to learn to play piano or keyboards for your local church, or write music, or learn more about sound or theory. You are never too old to learn new things. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to pursue a degree in music or art, but it could. The more likely way is to find a teacher who can help you learn what YOU need to learn.

An important point here is to learn what will be useful in your daily creative life, and what will grow you. In order to make a change this year, consider lessons and learning from someone better than you.

“Experience is the teacher of all things.” - Julius Caesar

Change with New Experiences

Both of the things above can lead to new experiences that you never had before, were never offered before, or just maybe never thought could happen to you. What if you were invited to Nashville to work on your music? What if you had a seasoned producer or composer or arranger or player who wanted to help bring out the music in you? What if you had a teacher or mentor that would work with you weekly, wherever you are, to help you move into uncharted territory creatively? Something that doesn’t exist around your local area?

These are the things that really start a new change in your life. Not some “resolution” that you’ll never keep. But truly getting started on something new.

Have a great year, and I hope it’s full of creative change and betterment!


John Eric Copeland is a composer, author, arranger, and lots of other things. This year he is looking for creative projects and commissions in music (from jazz to classical to gospel), and offering individual weekly music and creative lessons for all ages.

Find out more about music projects here:

Find out more about music lessons here:

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About the Author

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Eric Copeland is an author, producer, keyboardist, songwriter, and president of Creative Soul Companies. What is Creative Soul? Our main goals are to inform, encourage, and assist Christian creative folks in ministry, no matter where they are in their journey. Thanks for reading! Find out more about us at