From the Blog

Inside Limemates: our top 10 challenges

Here at Limeade we have a lot of fun using our platform to power our own internal wellness program “Limemates.” This is where we help each other meet our goals, promote events, get to know each other and push the boundaries of what Limeade can do.

We’ve never publicly taken the wraps off our own program before but—for the first time ever—we’re going to give you a sneak peek into what we’ve been doing (lucky you).

One unique aspect of our internal program is that we refresh everything and completely start over every few months. This lets us try all kinds of experiments and learn at lightning speed. Over the past year, we ran three very different programs: Paint the Town Lime, Limeade U, and Limeade Liftoff. At the end of the year, we asked everyone: “What was your favorite challenge and why?” Here are the top ten…


 10. Polar Bear Swim

  • How to complete: Submerge yourself in the icy winter Pacific Ocean (talk about refreshing wellness).
  • Why it worked: It was fun, unexpected and sharable—videos naturally went viral around the office. Take a look at our CEO Henry Albrecht take the plunge in the video below.

“It was fun watching others running out of freezing water.”

 

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9. Walk Around the Moon

  • How to complete: Together, everyone must exceed 2,000,000 total cumulative steps before the challenge ends.
  • Why it worked: We are accustomed to the basic steps tracking and were ready to try something new.

“Steps challenges are at the core of our programs, but we’re usually competing against each other. Working together was a fun twist.”

 

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8. Create a Positive Morning Routine

  • How to complete: Proactively decide on a few morning rhythms, share them with others and follow through a minimum of 3x/week.
  • Why it worked: In addition to mapping to our aspirations and struggles, we energized each other by sharing goals, what was working, and what wasn’t—truly resulting in a small community. The self-care theme also struck a chord in our sometimes crazy lives.

“I learned so many good things from other people.”

 

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7. Physics Experiment

  • How to complete: Choose something you want to add to your life, and challenge yourself to do that every day for the next 30 days.
  • Why it worked: With so many urgent things, it can be hard to focus on the important long term habits. This nudge helped give us permission to do so.

“It’s always good to get out of your comfortable routine and sometimes you need just that extra push to try something.”

 

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6. Pull Your Team Up

  • How to complete: Your team of 4-12 coworkers must collectively do 3000 pull ups before the challenge ends.
  • Why it worked: A legitimately challenging goal activated the office with some friendly competition and lots of energy. Other exercises could be substituted in place of pull ups.

“Team pull up is my favorite and least favorite. It definitely made me stronger. But with it being a team challenge I felt compelled to over compensate just to pick up some slack. My arms are still feeling the pain.”

 

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5. Sociology 101 (High Fives)

  • How to complete: Swap at least 5 high-fives every Monday morning.
  • Why it worked: We wouldn’t typically recommend rewarding something like high-fives because they’re so intrinsic… but despite ourselves we loved the excuse to be goofy and it helped eased the stress of tripling in size over the past year.

“It was silly, but it helped me relax and get to know folks. This is the challenge I tell people about when I need a good example of our company’s culture.”

 

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4. Go Somewhere Wild

  • How to complete: Take the better part of a day to explore some place that inspires you.
  • Why it worked: It was a nudge we appreciated to slow down, practice what we preach and take care of ourselves.

“I had a great time thinking a little differently about well-being through this.”

 

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 3. Attitude Adjustment (TED Talks)

  • How to complete: Watch three TED talks per week and share the ones that inspire you.
  • Why it worked: It fostered engaged conversations and forced us to get out of our daily routine.

“I liked the focus on self-care/education.”

 

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2. Astronaut Abs

  • How to complete: Your team of 4-12 must collectively plank for 600 minutes before the challenge ends.
  • Why it worked: Teams started regularly scheduling planking sessions throughout the workday (we’re talking on the hour, every hour by the last day of the competition). Because we were all nudging each other, nobody wanted to be left out (or let their team down). Over the course of the challenge, we created a new normal in the office environment where there was nothing odd about a group of 5-12 folks planking in a circle.

“I like it because it enabled me to connect with my coworkers for a few minutes each day. It was amusing how the competition heated up as teams try to overtake each other.”

 

…And the winner is!

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1. Creative Spark Seeker

  • How to complete: Make something awesome each week.
  • Why it worked: We all personalized it to invest in our passions—photography, cooking, art, coding, etc. Seeing the creative work from our coworkers helped us get to know each other better and motivated us to share our own projects.

“I liked having an excuse to do something creative. Far too often, I find that I don’t prioritize time to do enough creative stuff in my personal time. Having a challenge gave me an ‘excuse’ to do so.”

 


Reflections

Does this give us a clear roadmap for what activities will work in the future? Sort of…

There are definitely some types of challenges that everyone can agree on—physical health and fitness, healthy rhythms, team competitions, trying new things—but the more specific activities tended to be more controversial. Some of us just hate doing certain things—journaling, climbing stairs, playing in the snow, watching TED Talks—while some of us absolutely love doing the exact same things. You’d think that the solution is to offer tons of variety, but it turns out variety can be the most controversial aspect or our programs! The most common compliment and complaint of each program this year has been that there is a lot of variety.

What is clear is that we love having a little nudge to get to know each other and have fun together. The common theme in all our feedback is that we genuinely appreciate that extra encouragement to act on our priorities and share what we’re doing with each other. By fostering this as a community, it has helped us give ourselves permission to be more what we think the workplace ought to be.

We’ll keep you posted on what we learn when we relaunch Limemates next week!


Post By Daniel Nelson
— Configuration Specialist at Limeade and designer of the Winter 2013 Paint the Town Lime program