As we head into a new year, I figure it could also be a good time to talk about some of the ways that we can all strive to "adult" better.

So what is "adulting" anyway? According to Time Magazine, it means, "To behave in an adult manner; engage in activities associated with adulthood".

In other words, it's all of those mundane things that we do every day that adults are supposed to do.

But I feel like there are some pretty basic things that tend to fall by the wayside at times, such as:

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    Saying Please & Thank You

    One of the recurring themes that you'll see throughout this list is the fact that these are things that we make a point to teach our kids, but it seems like some adults have forgotten those long ago lessons.

    And I feel like it starts with some of the simplest things, like please and thank you.

    A polite request and a show of appreciation can go a long way to making someone feel appreciated.

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    Hold Doors For People

    This is one of my biggest pet peeves. It's a tiny thing, but I think that it says a lot about someone.

    There have been many times that I've been walking into a store right behind someone and they simply breeze in and let the door close in my face.

    I always take a quick look around to see if there is anyone right behind me when I'm going in or out of a business.

    I'm not saying that people should stand there and wait for someone to catch up, or that we need to linger like a New York City doorman, either. But it's one of those little things that I feel like it doesn't take any extra effort to do, but makes an impression when it's not done and a door gets slammed in your face.

    Oh, and for crying out loud, if someone does hold the door for you, refer to #1 on this list.

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    Respect Private & Shared Property

    I feel like a huge part of becoming the adult that I have become was because of my time spent at summer camp, both as a camper and a counselor.

    I learned from a young age about living in close quarters with others, sharing things, and respecting the space and property of others.

    When I was a camp counselor, I'd always have a talk with my campers on the first day to remind them of this.

    I'd always say that it's ok to ask someone to borrow something, but they do have the right to say no. If they say yes though, put it back where you got it from, and in the same condition.

    We also had many common areas; from living areas to work spaces, bathrooms to dining spaces. Leaving common areas in the same condition that they were found in is basic courtesy.

    I taught these lessons to 12-year-olds. We shouldn't have to remind adults.

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    Clean Up After Your Dog

    I've previously bemoaned my neighborhood's "poop problem", but it's been even more evident recently with the snow covered landscape that Ocean County became last weekend.

    Let's be real, picking up dog poop isn't fun.

    But guess what? When we get dogs, we sign up for it.

    If you have your own property and you want your yard to be a minefield of bodily functions, knock yourself out.

    But if you live in a community or walk your dog in public, I'm sorry, but there isn't any excuse that I will accept for not picking up after a dog on public or shared property.

    If you don't clean up after your dog, sorry but I'm going to say it, you're inconsiderate. Period.


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    Be A Courteous Driver

    Honestly, I'm not even sure what to say about this one anymore.

    I have spilled much ink on this very topic in these pages over the years, so I'll keep this one short.

    Whether it's the Garden State Parkway, Route 37, 195, Hooper Ave, or frankly any road in or out of Ocean County:

    • Don't tailgate.
    • Keep to the right unless you're passing.
    • Use your blinkers.
    • And for the love of all that is sacred and good in this world: PUT THE PHONE DOWN!

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