My next Friends parallel comes from Season 5 – Episode 16 – “The one with the cop”.

Ross, Rachel and Chandler attempt to get a sofa up a set of stairs.

Just before it gets stuck in place, Ross repeatedly says the word “Pivot”.

It was funny at the time.

He was, of course, talking about the trajectory of the sofa on the stairs.

But he could also have been talking about a tactical approach to making changes in our life.

Because what we often try and do is just make wholesale, super difficult changes.

We go from one end of the spectrum to the other.

We try to completely stop doing something that we enjoy.

We go from eating like a maniac to eating like a monk.

Not exercising at all to exercising for hours several times a week.

From couch potato to Olympic athlete.

And it’s not that those things wouldn’t work.

If we maintained them consistently.

But experience has probably taught us that we won’t.

It’s too much for the vast of majority of us (myself included).

It doesn’t create a life that we’re happy living.

We can use willpower to force ourselves to do it for only so long.

There are no tactics to this approach.

It’s “Bull in a china shop”.

A complete change of direction.

From my experience, an approach that’s more likely to be maintained involves tactical ‘pivots’.

A number of relatively small course corrections…….

That aren’t all that noticeable………

But that add up.

Tactically swapping some things we eat for some other things that, give or take, we like just as much…….

Are just as convenient…….

Cost the same…….

Take the same amount of time and effort…….

But, in some way, help us achieve our goals.

The food choice that we’re just as happy to make, but that has half the calories is a “pivot”.

The knowingly sub-optimal form of exercise that we find somewhere between tolerable and enjoyable and then do (cough **** **** cough)………

Over the theoretically better option that we don’t……..

Is a “pivot”.

Swapping high calorie drinks for low calorie versions is a “pivot”.

Averaging out elsewhere in the week rather than continuing to “try harder” not to overeat when we go out is a “pivot”.

If large changes in direction work for you, then that’s awesome.

Keep going.

If they haven’t, then tactical course corrections and pivots along the route are more likely to.

Much love,

Jon ‘Shut up, shut up, shut up’ Hall


RISE in Macclesfield was established in 2012 and specialise in Group Personal Training weight loss programmes for those that don’t like the gym and find diets boring and restrictive!

Jon Hall
Jon Hall

When not helping people to transform their lives and bodies, Jon can usually be found either playing with his kids or taxi-ing them around. If you'd like to find out more about what we do at RISE then enter your details in the box to the right or bottom of this page or at - this is the same way every single one of the hundreds who've described this as "one of the best decisions I've ever made" took their first step.