Welcome to Run With Less, Courtney Carver.
Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2016, Courtney began to remove stress from her life and lean towards simplicity. Courtney strives to help others discover the joy in less through her journey.
Courtney has been influential in my own journey. I have previously wrote about how Project 333 has been greatly beneficial to my health and fitness. I extended the principles of Project 333, to help create a runner’s capsule wardrobe – an essential set of running clothes and accessories that cater for every occasion and weather condition.
This simple approach may be particularly helpful for new runners because it helps to remove barriers that prevent taking action. Meaning you can avoid decision fatigue, step out the door and start running with as little friction as possible.
Courtney, thank you for inspiring me, it is a pleasure to chat with you.
Run With Less: Could you give an introduction into how you started
Be More With Less?
Courtney Carver: I started Be More with Less in 2010. After simplifying my life for a few years, I was excited to share what I was learning and to connect with like-hearted people. I knew I wasn’t the only one out there feeling overwhelmed with life’s demands.
RWL: You are most known for creating the Project 333 movement. Could you describe what it is and how it has helped thousands of people around the world?
CC: Project 333 is the minimalist fashion challenge I created when I promised myself and the internet that I’d dress with only 33 items (including clothing, accessories, jewelry and shoes) for three months. It quickly spread from personal experiment to world-wide challenge. Since the project began I’ve heard from people from all different lifestyles about how the challenge changed not only their closets but their levels of anxiety, shopping habits, careers and lives.
RWL: Project 333 has significantly helped to simplify my health & fitness. Have you heard this before from others?
CC: Yes! Project 333 had such a dramatic effect on my life and habits so I’ve been thrilled to hear from others that they’ve had a similar experience. It gives people the time and space to consider how they might live their lives differently and the confidence to take steps to change. Project 333 often demonstrates that what we thought about what our clothes say about us was all wrong. It proves that we don’t need more to be happy, but that the answer to success and happiness often lies in less. When people see that what they thought to be true isn’t, it gives them great freedom to question other parts of themselves and their lives.
RWL: It’s helpful that workout clothes are not included in the 33 items – but these clothes must be used to workout in?
CC: That’s right. You don’t have to count your workout clothes, but your workout clothes have to workout. That means if your yoga pants spend more time running errands than doing yoga, you have to count them. ?
RWL: Project 333 helped me to be intentional with both day-to-day and workout clothes. My workout clothes are still not included as part of the 33 but are constrained to only the essential items needed – I call it the Runner’s Capsule Wardrobe:
When you started wearing 33 items or less for 3 months, how did others around you react to it?
CC: Nobody noticed. It was so cool to realize that no one cared what I was wearing. I put so much time and effort into proving who I was by what I wore before so realizing that people didn’t care or even notice made me wonder why I cared so much about what people thought about me in the first place. It was so freeing to let go of that concern, not just about my clothes but with everything. As Martha Graham said, “What other people think of us is none of our business.”
RWL: Project 333 is not really about clothes but a tool to help you remove stress and simplify your life?
CC: I completely agree and could say the same thing about simplicity or minimalism. It’s not what you call it that matters, but how you apply it to your life.
RWL: What advice would you give to someone who would like to try Project 333 for the first time?
CC: #1 Read my new book, Project 333, The Minimalist Fashion Challenge that Proves Less is So Much More.
#2 Don’t overthink it. Project 333 isn’t that hard but thinking about it too much might be. Just jump in. When you experience your first peaceful morning, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner.
RWL: Tell us about your passion for hiking and connecting with nature?
CC: I love spending time outdoors. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah and we have some incredible hiking. There is always something new to see and experience. Getting onto the trail and into the forest sparks creativity and grounds me. When I see how everything in nature happens without stress or thought or worry, it makes me smile and reminds me to let go even more.
RWL: How did you discover Minimalism?
CC: Leo Babauta from Zen Habits
RWL: What advice would you give to someone who is discovering minimalism for the first time and interested to become more intentional?
CC: Start here: https://bemorewithless.com/beginner-minimalist/
RWL: Tell us about your slow morning practice?
CC: My morning routine is how I start my day with intention. Before email. Before work. Before anything, I start with me. I stretch, write, read, and meditate first. It helps me be much more focused and calm throughout the day.
RWL: What does your meditation practice look like?
CC: I practice Transcendental Meditation, 20 minutes twice a day.
“We don’t need more to be happy, but that the answer to success and happiness often lies in less”.Courtney Carver
RWL: Through simplicity, you embrace being an introvert and an advocate of JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out). Could you share more about this experience?
CC: I wrote about Jomo in my book, Soulful Simplicity. It was my solution to FOMO, fear of missing out. It was a way for me to say, I feel joyful because I have a choice.
RWL: Tell us when your new Project 333 book is released?
CC: It comes out 3-3-20. Available here.
RWL: What one book has had the most influence or impact on your life?
CC: There isn’t just one, but The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron has made a big difference in my life.
RWL: You can add one word onto the end of the phrase ‘Run With Less’. What would you choose?
RWL: Where can people find you online?
RWL: Thank you Courtney. It has been great catching up and I look forward to reading the new Project 333 book on the 3rd March.
Check out how I apply Project 333 to my own wardrobe, at the related article below: