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Better health, grades top resolutions for many Buffalonians

Eat healthier. Stay active. Think positive thoughts. Get good grades. Actually finish the projects you start around the house.

Western New Yorkers are already thinking about how to improve their lives in 2017.

In interviews conducted during the last hours of New Year's Eve at various spots around downtown Buffalo, people getting ready to say goodbye to 2016 offered a range of resolutions for the New Year.

Chaundivia Richardson, Buffalo

"Exercise more, eat healthy foods and drink more water, because we don't drink as much water as we should." Richardson spoke at First Night Buffalo, in a room where organizers had set up a Family Fitness Challenge where people could write down their health goals on paper stuck to a wall. She was there with daughter, Jasmine Bishop, 10, and son, Larry Stephens III, 6.

Toby Mersinger, Sloan

"Mine is to finish things that I started, because the 'honey-do' list gets longer and longer." Mersinger was at First Night with his girlfriend, Sarah Burke, and their blended family of four children. He said his work as a "human taxi" and his full-time job as a licensed plumber is what keeps him from completing those tasks.

Ben Pulkownik, downtown Buffalo

"Always have positive vibes and energy." Pulkownik was working Saturday night as a bar back at SoHo Burger Bar, on West Chippewa Street, as college football played on the big-screen TVs.

Jamal Davis, East Side

"To complete school. I want to finish this semester with a 4.0." Davis was keeping watch at Jim's Steak Out on Chippewa, where he is the assistant general manager. He's a junior business administration major at Daemen College.

Steve Dziak, Hamburg

"I guess I need to focus more on the Fundamentals of Engineering exam that's coming up. Be a better student." Dziak graduated in May, but he said he needs to pass this exam to get his professional engineering license. The exam is in February, he said, so he needs to knuckle down now. Dziak was at a crowded Chocolate Bar on Chippewa Street with his girlfriend, Sara Graham.

Sara Graham, Hamburg

"To get into medical school." Graham said she's applied a few times before, but hasn't gotten in yet. She's planning to take the MCATs again this summer, and she's confident she'll get into medical school this time. "There's no Plan B," she said.

John Ellis, Gowanda

"Drink less alcohol, and go to more music festivals." Ellis, who was wearing a plastic Happy New Year hat, was in line at Town Ballroom waiting for the doors to open to the Jimkata concert.

Eric Weaver, Dayton, Ohio

"Fifteen more years with my wife." Weaver, who also was attending the Jimkata concert, said he and his wife, Leona, would start celebrating their 15th anniversary at midnight, although they got married Jan. 4. His wife, hearing her husband's resolution, said with mock outrage, "Only 15 years?"

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