Date of Completion

Spring 5-24-2018

Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Peter J. Taylor


Changing habits is a common pursuit whether it is in support of one’s creative work or another personal goal. I wanted to take myself more seriously as an artist and to change my procrastination habit towards that work. While solutions can seem simple, the ongoing difficulty of making this change led me seek further understanding of why knowledge of a solution is not always enough. Throughout my study in the Critical and Creative Thinking program at The University of Massachusetts Boston, I started to develop knowledge of the underlying ways of thinking that were affecting my actions. Learning about principles within cognitive psychology helped me understand how my ways of thinking developed. Automatic responses and reinforcement of them through internal dialogue played a significant role in the emotional resistance I had developed to artmaking. I no longer enjoyed the process of painting and needed to cultivate a new mindset for it. Understanding the connections between awareness of thinking, emotions, and reinforced responses provided me with insight about how to change my thinking, emotions, and responses from unconscious to conscious in order to change my mindset from powerless to powerful. Through this project, I found that mindset is of utmost importance—not only for motivation towards work one wishes to do, but as an experience and a foundation. While creative work was the focus of habit I wished to affect, the concepts may be applied to any situation in which change is desired.