At Canary Coaching we often support clients on goals, from setting realistic ones, to putting in milestones, to achievement…and setbacks.

I am always looking for strategies that successful achievers have, which I can share with those experiencing setbacks. Most recently I asked a previous client who had lost half of his body weight over the past two and a half years, going from morbidly obese to a healthy BMI, “what advice would you give other people attempting to achieve that goal?”

His answer was a brilliant, easy to share strategy for setbacks. He explained that he still ‘fell off the wagon’ having the odd binge, but instead of thinking ‘I’ve ruined it now, there’s no point’, and giving up (and worse, punishing himself for doing so), he decided to get back on the wagon the next day. Simple.

He concluded by saying that the cumulative effect of all the days ‘on the wagon’ far outweighed the setbacks, and therefore no binge, or break in training is worth deleting the goal for. He is happier now than I have ever seen him.I love this outlook and have talked it through with clients who have a variety of goals, be it to ignore social media during working hours, run the marathon or do internet dating. Initially we talked about going to bed being the ‘re-set’, to ‘start-again’ the next morning. But then I brought it forward, what if you ‘re-set’ straight after the set-back?

Food for thought…

If you’ve got a goal that you’d like some coaching and support with in order to achieve, contact us.


This was the headline to an article about tranquiliser abuse among women on the front of the Metro one day this week.  It’s a fairly confusing and not very well written piece, but the gist of it is that, while 3.5% of women in Europe smoke cannabis (the world’s most popular drug), 4.2% abuse tranquilisers.  Dr Peter Swinyard, chairman of the Family Doctors Association apparently said, “Some women just need something to help them get through the day and deal with all the stresses of life such as looking after children and work, or lack of it – and sometimes doctors just dispense pills and sympathy.”

While I think that the Zombie Epidemic headline is very harsh – my experience in addiction services has certainly given me an awareness of how serious the problem of over-use and addiction to prescribed drugs actually is.  Many clients I have seen have been taking diazepam (valium) for decades. But many others, and certainly not only women, have become addicted to other drugs including anti-depressants, sleeping pills and pain killers.  Last year the Guardian reported a 43% increase in anti-depressant prescriptions over 4 years – up to 23 million – I find this figure absolutely staggering.

Is there an alternative?
Why is it that women in particular apparently “need something to help them get through the day”? What sort of society is it where so many people are apparently ‘depressed’ to the point of needing medication – despite Government pledges to increase the amount of money going into ‘talking therapies’? 

I know that, certainly in Surrey, the wait for these talking therapies via the NHS can be 8+ months – if you’re feeling seriously depressed or are not coping that could be way too long – hence, I suspect why doctors tend to prescribe 

anti-depressants which, while they may help in the short term, may also end up causing more problems of dependence and overuse.   

I believe that, for many of these people who are struggling with low mood and feeling unable to cope, some simple advice on sorting out their values and looking at what really matters to them, managing stress and work/life balance, working on their thought patterns, building self-esteem etc could change their outlook dramatically and eliminate their need for drugs or long term ‘therapies’.   

NLP coaching can be remarkably successful in these situations – so if you’re feeling depressed or are struggling to cope, think about giving this a try first before you embark on any potentially addictive drug treatment.  And if you are already having trouble stopping some prescribed medication, check out our Alcohol page which also covers drugs – we can probably help you.