Whether your goal is to lose weight, build muscle or simply to be a healthier you, it’s important to have a plan–and it’s even more important to follow through. Erin McGill, a fitness expert with a psychology background and a NASM Master Trainer, gave me the inside scoop on how you can create a fitness routine and stick to it this time.

How do you establish a fitness routine if you can’t afford a personal trainer?

Group training is really popular and prices per session can be as little as  $5, and according to Erin, sometimes you don’t even need to have a membership to take advantage. Exercising with a group provides accountability and motivation. It also provides more structure for accomplishing goals. With countless options for group classes, you’re sure to find something you enjoy.

If your budget is really tight, Erin recommends working out at home in your apartment. There are plenty of free workouts online–just make sure you find a workout calendar or schedule so you have something to follow.

What are some tips for sticking to your routine?

Erin tells me, “The best thing to do is write it all down.” Keeping track of what you accomplish is a positive reward to the brain and will keep you motivated. She also suggest setting smaller, more achievable goals and tracking your progress. For example, if you want to lose 20 pounds, start by setting a goal of working out 3 times per week for 20 minutes. Or, if you can only do 10 push-ups, document it and try to beat your own record. Once you’ve accomplished that goal, set another one. Remember that your goals should be realistic and measurable.

What is your best advice for people who don’t like working out?

“Sometimes people have a misconception as to what they have to do to reach their goals,” Erin says. “There are a lot of things people can do instead of working out to get active—like parking further away or taking the stairs.” Find small ways to implement activities into your daily life to burn more calories.

Erin also recommends surrounding yourself with people with similar goals for moral support. Accountability and motivation are your best tools for reaching your goals.