Success, Relationships, Country Life, Goals

As we head into February it’s time to reflect, renew, and keep pushing toward our goals. Keep striving to become a better you.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”

~Winston Churchill

2019 seems to have begun with a jolt. I’m excited about the momentum I have and I aim to keep it going. However, I have so many friends and family that have been struck with adversity. I hope they can keep going despite the challenges they face.

“Success is not final…” Even though things are rolling in a good direction for me, right now, I won’t call it success. I’m on the road to success and it’s possibly never ending. When I think about the meaning of success, I define it in various ways. It could be achieving a goal. It could be filling a tag. Maybe to some it’s about being rich or out doing someone else.

In my mind the last one on the list is a definition of failure. We should make it a goal to help others, not outdo them. Of course, there are competitions, but in relationships it’s only an achievement if it’s a Win-Win.

If someone doesn’t want to have a 4,000 square-foot mansion, then that shouldn’t be required. If they want to have a pasture of horses, let them. If they don’t want livestock but instead want to grow crops, so be it. We live in a day and age where so many people try to define you by their expectations — Totally discounting what yours may be.

Do you ever wonder how far this tangled endeavor of rules and boundaries and definitions may go? I sure do. We’ll see what covenants happen this year in our beautiful little ranch/farming community. We just might be told how many and what color animals we’re allowed to let roam in our front pasture. Think I’m joking? I’m not.

Why don’t these people care about your or my opinion? Because they don’t know us. They’re not connected to us. They only care about themselves. They’ll approach a conversation with their story, their perspective, their feelings.

How do “Me” and “I” help in your relationships? They don’t, yet that’s how many people approach others nowadays. For the month of
February I challenge you to pay attention to how many times you add your story into a conversation, discounting that of whomever you’re speaking with. — Test it out. Give it a try. Let me know how it goes.

Try the challenge in the virtual and the real world. Remember, last month I challenged you to engage in conversations with the people you come across in person. I hope that’s been going well. While technology may build some sort of report, we need to nurture the relationships that are right before us — in real life.

“Treasure your relationships, not your possessions.”

Anthony J. D’Angelo

8 Ways to Improve Your Relationships

  1. Listen – How many times have you attempted to engage in a conversation only to see that your counterpart’s eyes are glazed over? Have you ever spoken about an experience, challenge, or idea only to have the other person(s) cut you off to tell you their thoughts or stories? Conversations aren’t always about you. Learn to listen.
  2. Be Curious – Do you know it all? My bet is that you don’t. If you’re a good listener your curiosity should become aroused. Start asking questions and be interested in others. You’d be surprised what you could learn about them. Your interest in other people makes them feel better. Your listening and questioning will save you money since you’ll know the gifts that they actually want.
  3. Communicate – Listening and asking questions is a start to good communication. As you practice these skills, you need to learn when it’s appropriate to interject your ideas and opinions. Check your emotions and learn what works best; Communications strategies will vary with each individual. The challenge is being diverse in each conversation.
  4. Be Respectful – The number one relationship mistake I witness people making is neglecting qualities one, two and three (listed above), followed by digging in their heals and fighting to be right. Children are to respect adults and adults need to reciprocate. We are all entitled to our opinions and shouldn’t decide to cut others off if they don’t see things the way we do. Respect the views of others.
  5. Remember Your Manners – One of the best places to visit with family, friends, and colleagues is around the table. There are books you can buy if you didn’t have a mentor to teach you good etiquette (try THIS FOR LADIES or THIS FOR GENTLEMEN). Manners are imperative is at the table, and it’s a great place to enjoy good fellowship; Don’t ruin it. If you’re shoveling food into your mouth, talking with a mouth full of food, or other forgetting to clasp your hands and bow your head in prayer (whether you believe in God or not), others may likely wish you weren’t there and fear to engage in conversation because they don’t know what other atrocious actions you’ll display. NEVER stuff your napkin in someone’s face whether in jest or not. — NEVER!
  6. Be Present – This point refers back to number one, above. If you are present, you’ll know what is happening, what protocol the host is calling for, or what you’re guests may need. Put down your device, come back from day-dream land and work on the steps listed above.
  7. Value – Count your blessings and value the people you have in your life. If you forget to follow tips one thru six, you just may not have them around.
  8. Be a Gift – Be someone who is remembered with a smile, not just after life but here and now. This year, I challenge you to learn how you can be a blessing to others — Not in the ways you think are great, but in ways that they will love too.

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7 Ways to Improve Your Relationships in the New Year

Out here on the Funny Farm we’ve been planning for the new year for about a year. We’ve been setting, expanding, and working on goals every month. Our schedules run so far ahead that it’s not as though suddenly 2019 strikes us as a surprise. In our busy lives, we have to remember that relationships are important for all of our goals or resolutions.

In this age of technology, I’m happy to live a country way of life that my parents, aunts, uncles and godparents and friends taught me. I feel blessed that you’re following me and I can share a bit of it with you. Technology has brought people together in a roundabout way, yet in another, it has torn people apart. We spend time locked in on our devices, checking and rechecking, and scrolling and tapping on family’s, friend’s, and stranger’s posts. Let’s remember that country way of living by sharing our lives with others.

While technology may build some sort of report, what are we doing in the relationships that are right before us — in real life? How are things with your family, friends, and colleagues? How can you improve those relationships?

8 Things to Improve Your Relationships

  1. Listen – How many times have you attempted to engage in a conversation only to see that your counterpart’s eyes are glazed over? Have you ever spoken about an experience, challenge, or idea only to have the other person(s) cut you off to tell you their thoughts or stories? Conversations aren’t always about you. Learn to listen.
  2. Be Curious – Do you know it all? My bet is that you don’t. If you’re a good listener your curiosity should become aroused. Start asking questions and be interested in others. You’d be surprised what you could learn about them. Your interest in other people makes them feel better. Your listening and questioning will save you money since you’ll know the gifts that they actually want.
  3. Communicate – Listening and asking questions is a start to good communication. As you practice these skills, you need to learn when it’s appropriate to interject your ideas and opinions. Check your emotions and learn what works best; Communications strategies will vary with each individual. The challenge is being diverse in each conversation.
  4. Be Respectful – The number one relationship mistake I witness people making is neglecting qualities one, two and three (listed above), followed by digging in their heals and fighting to be right. Children are to respect adults and adults need to reciprocate. We are all entitled to our opinions and shouldn’t decide to cut others off if they don’t see things the way we do. Respect the views of others.
  5. Remember Your Manners – One of the best places to visit with family, friends, and colleagues is around the table. There are books you can buy if you didn’t have a mentor to teach you good etiquette (try THIS FOR LADIES or THIS FOR GENTLEMEN). Manners are imperative is at the table, and it’s a great place to enjoy good fellowship; Don’t ruin it. If you’re shoveling food into your mouth, talking with a mouth full of food, or other forgetting to clasp your hands and bow your head in prayer (whether you believe in God or not), others may likely wish you weren’t there and fear to engage in conversation because they don’t know what other atrocious actions you’ll display. NEVER stuff your napkin in someone’s face whether in jest or not. — NEVER!
  6. Be Present – This point refers back to number one, above. If you are present, you’ll know what is happening, what protocol the host is calling for, or what you’re guests may need. Put down your device, come back from day-dream land and work on the steps listed above.
  7. Value – Count your blessings and value the people you have in your life. If you forget to follow tips one thru six, you just may not have them around.
  8. Be a Gift – Be someone who is remembered with a smile, not just after life but here and now. This year, I challenge you to learn how you can be a blessing to others — Not in the ways you think are great, but in ways that they will love too.

Cheers, friends. Thank you for taking the time to stop by. I wish you many blessings in each day and in the coming year. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Tuesday Ponderings – Family Time and the Christmas Season

It is the season of Christmas and I sit here awaiting the sunrise and time for feeding the animals on the Funny Farm. I sip my coffee planning the coming days and weeks, and puzzle over families separated and acting childish because their egos are too big and the expectations too high.

As I sit here and ponder the separations in our communities I come to remember being able to ask dad for his insight or grandpa about the logic of it all. Yet they are gone, and I’m left here to be the one to contemplate.

Since at least three years of age, I can remember experiencing the loss of a family member. Believe it or not, I recall attending my great-grandfather’s funeral. I also remember looking up to him before that and admiring his horn-rimmed glasses and his eyes that glimmered behind them. I also remember his plants and his garden and his satisfaction in raising fresh fruits and the like.

I remember my great-grandmother who experienced the loss of my grandmother and my great-uncle (her children) before her time came to go. I know her heart ached, and mine did too — and when she left it ached again.

My god-mother and god-father, great uncles, cousins, — and my brother, my grandpa, and my dad — they’ve all left this place we know. I remember all of them as being giving, caring, hard workers, who feared the Lord and embraced their family. What I’ve seen after is a lot of selfishness, ego, and expectations that overpower the great goodness of having a loving family. I see families torn apart, shunning one another, complaining about one another.

Do they not know how blessed they are to have one another, if even for a short time?

During this holiday season, and every day, remember to check your ego; check your expectations and embrace who you have for the time they are here. Before you know it things will change and you’ll never be able to get that time back.

Will your memories be of digging in your heals to prove that someone in your life is wrong — because you think you’re right? — Or is that how others will remember you?

1 Thessalonians 5:15 Make sure that no one repays evil for evil. Always pursue what is good for one another and for all people.


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MAC WordPress Feature

Stop With the Excuses by Save the Cowboy

I came across this image and message of “stop with the excuses” a while ago. I found it inspiring because don’t we all come up with reasons, blame, justifications, and ways to whitewash an outcome? As we head into the week, read the piece from ‘Save the Cowboy’ and think about what ways you’re inhibiting your progress in life. Let’s do our best to keep going but quit those nasty excuses.

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“You’ve reached your limit when you reach for excuses. – Save the Cowboy

So what excuses do we make?

  1. I’m afraid – Afraid of what they may say. Afraid of what might happen. Afraid that it won’t happen. Have courage, stand up, ride the horse, ask the girl, go anyway.
  2. I’m broken – Yes, we all are to some extent. But being broken and remaining broken are two different things. If you want to become unbroken, don’t make the next excuse.
  3. I can’t… – You’re right, you can’t. Of course, you’d also be right if you said you can.
  4. I don’t know how – Then make mistakes. Find someone that does know how. Do something besides whine.
  5. But I’m too… – You’re too what? Shy? Old? Young? Skinny? Fat? Whatever word you use is a lie.
  6. Someday I will… – No, you won’t. The passage of time changes nothing except the date on the calendar. Do something today that will be a step towards who you want to be in the future.
  7. But they… – No one is to blame but you. Take responsibility. Take action. Take control.

I’m sure some of these hit home, but just in case — what’s your excuse? Because remember, “A valid reason doesn’t mean it’s a good excuse.” www.savethecowboy.com Background photo by Brandee Gillham.”


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Outdoors, Hunting, and Inspiration with Mia Anstine and ‘Mountain Climer’

A new friend who’s been following my inspiration for some time reached out to interview me for a new project. He’s created a website, www.mountainclimer.com, which is designed to inspire others. I feel honored to play a part in being a positive influence, or role model, for others. I also look to them for inspiration, so of course, I had to learn more about the Mountain Climer mission.

CLICK HERE to read the Mountain Climer interview ’10 Questions with Mia Anstine.’

MountainClimer-inspiration-mission-mac-outdoors

Jeremy Climer says he first heard about me when I was on the cover of Field & Stream. “After reading the article, I immediately found you on social media and started reading your blog posts and watching your YouTube videos. What really attracted me to your work was your focus on family” says Climer who grew up outdoors, though not hunting.

Jeremy says his wife’s first experience with guns and hunting was through him, and now they’re raising their daughter outdoors and teaching her all about hunting, fishing, and conservation.  He says, “It’s been important for both my wife and daughter to see women out there hunting and fishing – it’s not a man’s thing, it’s a human thing.”

The Climer family had a longtime goal of moving to Colorado and recently made the move when Jeremy’s wife accepted a job here. “Once we had our daughter, we wanted to settle down in the mountain west before she started kindergarten.” He also says he’s dreamed of hunting elk, mule deer, and pronghorn for over a decade. “I’m excited to finally get to hunt the animals I’ve long loved and admired. While I hunted whitetail and small game back in Indiana and Kentucky, I’ve never been one for sitting still, so I’m also looking forward to being able to spot and stalk as opposed to sitting in a tree stand.”

When I talk about joining conservation organizations to make a difference that means you also need to get involved, not just hold a membership card in your wallet. Jeremy is on the committee for the Mile High chapter of the Mule Deer Foundation and belongs to a number of organizations (RMEF, NWTF, BHA, TRCP, TU). He says he wants to do more so he decided to create his own opportunity via the new website.

Jeremy indicates his “goal is simply to bring people together and educate. I’ve done a lot of one on one educating on these issues during my time in Chicago and Los Angeles and gotten a lot of my friends interested in hunting, but I wanted to do that on a larger scale. Also, while there are organizations devoted to getting more people outside and there are conservation organizations doing new hunter recruitment, I didn’t see anyone out there trying to tie these things together. I’d like to see more hunters, more hikers, etc., and I’d like them all to be concerned about the future of our wild animals and places.  If I can direct someone who wants to learn to hunt to someone who can mentor them, or make hunting a little less scary for someone else, I’ll feel really good about that.”

Finding positive influencers is always important. While his website is new, you can follow it plus the Mountain Climer’s Facebook pageYouTube channel, and Instagram.


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The Meaning of #blessed

Morning coffee pondering – #Blessed

I hope you all had a blessed celebration day. It’s the day after Christmas, and as I scroll through the FB I see two types of people. Ones who think blessings are about gifts and ones who think they’re about Christ, family, and experiences.

The examples can be seen by comparing two pictures in the morning feed. One is of a momma who adopted two children. She shares a picture of them with HUGE smiles, sitting atop their horses, going for a Christmas ride. The other is of two young girls with meek faces and a HUGE pile of gifts behind them.

One photo caption says, “No one was ever THIS nice” with a hashtag #blessed and a comment below, from the mother, “We love our children so much.”

The other photo caption, “Do not educate your child to be rich. Educate them to be happy.”

Tell me, which children do you think are truly blessed? While I think presents are a blessing of which we should be thankful for, is a child who doesn’t receive a mountain of packages less blessed than one who does?

I hope you all received blessings this Christmas. I believe we all received the greatest one with the birth of Christ. I also believe God gave us this great world to behold and take care of and to delight in. Get outside. Take a family member, friend, or go it alone. Solo time in the outdoors is good for the soul.

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My Shooting Princess Slays Dragons

Do you remember when you were a princess, had huge dreams, climbed to the top of towers, and slew dragons? Hopefully, you’re still that girl (or guy!), so to speak. As we grow up and learn responsibility, respect, patience, and even fear, we sometimes forget where we started and worry about toppling. If we let the doubt take over, it will hold us back. Today, take a minute and remember back to that time when you were carefree, and embraced the challenge of slaying dragons.

Little-girl-pretends-to-slay-dragons-Lea-Leggitt-Mia-Anstine-photo

That’s a picture of my daughter. She might’ve been around four-years-old at that time. Yes, she was at the top of the jungle gym, slaying a dragon or monster of some sort. My, to have the imagination of a four-year-old! Something that I’ve never let her forget is that she can slay dragons. If you listen to this week’s MAC Outdoors podcast you’ll hear her tell some stories about conquering obstacles on the way to becoming an independent young lady.

Something I’ve never let her forget is that she can slay dragons. If you listen to this week’s MAC Outdoors podcast (linked below) you’ll hear her tell some stories about conquering obstacles on the way to becoming an independent young lady.

We dropped her off at college over a month ago. She hit the ground running and has embraced her classes, she’s meeting new people, and shooting more shotgun competitions than ever.

At one shotgun shoot, she encountered a “dragon” who discouraged but didn’t stop her. Listen up as she tells the story of intimidation, obstacles, and other challenges she faced as she shot at took first place in her class and division during that event.

I am very proud of the wonderful woman she has become. She is still my beautiful, little princess, and she’s slaying dragons. Be a dragon slayer — Metaphorically speaking, of course!


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25 AWESOME TIPS FOR BEAUTIFUL LIFE!

“Why are you always so happy?”

These are words to live by, not just today, but everyday. My cousin shared this status via Facebook, and I had to share it with you because it is how I strive to live. Some days are better than others, but that is why they invented four-wheel drive! Print it, pin it, share it. Put it someplace you can look at it later.

25 AWESOME TIPS FOR BEAUTIFUL LIFE!!!

Just a funny picture.  I hope it makes you laugh.
Just a funny picture.
I hope it makes you laugh.

  1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. & while you walk, SMILE. It is the ultimate antidepressant.
  2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
  3. When you wake up in the morning, Pray to ask God’s guidance for your purpose, today.
  4. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
  5. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, broccoli, and almonds.
  6. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
  7. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
  8. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.
  9. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
  10. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Forgive them for everything!
  11. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  12. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  13. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
  14. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  15. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  16. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: ‘In five years, will this matter?
  17. Help the needy, Be generous ! Be a ‘Giver’ not a ‘Taker’.
  18. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  19. Time heals everything.
  20. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  21. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
  22. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  23. Each night before you go to bed ,Pray to God and Be thankful for what you’ll accomplish, today!
  24. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.
  25. Share this to everyone on your list to help them lead a happier life…!!!! 

THANK YOU – Veteran’s Day

Veteran of the United States Airforce

Today I think of my grandfather and so many other people’s grandfathers, the men, the women, and many families children, who GIVE ALL. They are BRAVE. They are HEROES. They stand for our country. They STAND UP for us all.  They have more HONOR than some who are in top positions in our country. They are the ultimate status symbols. There is no way we can repay for the giving, the sacrifice and the deeds performed.

Veteran of the United States AirforceI began my blog to share stories. I shared those stories with my grandpa. As I wrote, I was talking to him. I was sharing something with him that he didn’t do. He may not have been a hunter, but he was a Veteran of the United States Air Force. He along with many others helped to build our country.

Grandpa passed away two years ago.

He spent his last couple years in great sadness. He watched the news and surfed the internet with grief on his mind. He was saddened that so many people had seemed to forget his and his companies efforts. I am certain he never would have imagined our country would be in its current state. “Good grief.” Yep. That is what he would say.

Today I think of him.

Today, on Veteran’s Day, I pray.

I pray the people of our country will HONOR ALL OF YOU. I pray the people of our country will RESPECT YOU. I pray the people of our country will RECOGNIZE YOU for YOUR GREATNESS. I pray the people of our country will stand up with as much DIGNITY AND PRIDE AS YOU.

Today, on Veteran’s Day, I THANK YOU!!!!


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