My all-time favorite things to say after a breakup:

“I’ll never be in a relationship with a guy like him again.”
“I’ll never allow someone to treat me like that.”
“I’ll never fall in love with someone who doesn’t deserve me.”.”
Add yours here: “I’ll never…”

It’s easy to make these sweeping declarations in the heat of the moment. You’re hurt, embarrassed, even stunned that things went down the way they did. You can vow, swear and promise that you won’t do it or say it again. But as the shock and pain wears off, it’s easy to forget those grand statements. You may start another relationship only to repeat the same behavior. It may be that you fall for a guy just like the last one, thinking that this time you can change him. You may find yourself neglecting your interests and goals in favor of being someone you think he wants, even if you swore you would never lose yourself again.

How can you say “Never” and mean it?

There is an exercise in my Breakup Bucket List where you write your own story. You create the story of how you want your life go be.

How is your life going to look? Where will you be in a year? It’s up to you. It can be that you are in love with a guy who is respectful and honest or that you are traveling to places you’ve always wanted to explore. You may start a new career or buy a new house. Whatever it is, write it down and make it your story. Don’t be afraid to write down some of your biggest dreams and ambitions. It’s okay to get excited about the options available to you and dream a little. This is your life, your power and your story. Outline the steps you need to take to make it happen. Focus on one or two things that you can do now to start you in the direction of your new life.

Write down a description of the kind of person you want to be: independent, confident, self-reliant. Whatever it is you want, write it down. Or create a collage of words and images that will reinforce the concept for you.

Read your description, look at your collage when you find yourself in a frustrating situation that is leading you to the things you said you would “NEVER” do again. Remember you have the power to set your own boundaries. Then when you say “Never” you will mean it and be able to stick to it.