Do you find it difficult to get out of bed and visit your local Greenville gym? Does it often seem easier to just pick up fast-food on the way home than make smarter eating decisions? One of the hardest obstacles when you’re trying to stay fit and healthy is finding the motivation. But there is a tried and true system to stay motivated, and that’s the buddy system.

When people feel like they’re trying to meet their fitness objectives alone, it can seem daunting. When you skip a trip to the gym or do 5 reps instead of 15, no one’s going to hold you accountable except for you—and this can make it easier to cheat or slack. But when there’s someone else nearby who you trust to keep you on track, suddenly your successes become even more rewarding and you find a new drive to succeed. Creating a workout buddy system for accountability is one of the easiest, most powerful ways to stay focused on your exercise and diet aspirations.

Your buddy doesn’t necessarily have to be your best friend. You could ask someone from you office to join you, or even your spouse. If you visit our Greenville gym often, you may notice others who frequently come in at the same time as you. You can approach someone and ask if they’d like to be your gym buddy, someone who might make plans to meet you at the treadmill at 2 p.m. on Tuesdays or regularly grab a smoothie with you after your spin class. And this person will notice when you’re not there. Just knowing that someone other than you is paying attention to your successes or failures can be a powerful motivator. Of course, a personal trainer is someone who will always keep you on track and be a helpful participant in your fitness regimen.

You can also invest in a generalized support system, where you constantly keep your family and friends updated about your workout goals. You can keep them abreast of the gym classes you’ve joined, or discuss how you feel about your latest workout or weight loss. By sharing your experiences, it welcomes others into your world. They can offer feedback or just listen. Either way, it gives you a personal team of cheerleaders to encourage your positive, healthy actions–ultimately helping you stay motivated and meet all of your fitness aspirations.