A big part of downshifting is refusing to keep up with the Joneses. It’s making do and being content with what you have. Sounds simple but this can be a real struggle for some people, others find it a relief and quickly adjust to this way of thinking and living. For those who have trouble, or find themselves focusing on what they don’t have rather than what they do, may I suggest a gratitude diary. You’ve probably already heard of them- you keep a little diary and every day list five things for which you are thankful. It’s an easy and effective way to keep you focused on the important things and it soon becomes evident that those important things aren’t the expensive shoes or nights out but rather the perfect cup of tea in the sunshine, the trill of your baby’s laugh, the bike ride along the foreshore, or the feeling of satisfaction after mastering a new skill. I keep my gratitude diary on my phone (yes there’s an app for that!) and enter my five things last thing at night as I lay in bed. This ensures my last thoughts of the day are positive ones and allows me to sleep well.