The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Special Project

Special Project
From the 5th Annual Shorty Social Good Awards Challenge Group

Entered in Facebook


At, community has always been one of our core values. We believe good health is more achievable and sustainable through connection and support. Since launching our site in 2008, we have helped millions of people find and follow through on personalized fitness and nutrition plans that help them reach their goals.

We know how difficult it can be to stay motivated and stick with healthy habits when life gets busy, especially if you’re trying to do it all by yourself. That’s why we started the Challenge Group: a safe, non-judgmental community that provides support and encouragement to all people — regardless of age, location, income, race, fitness level or gender identity — on their health and fitness journeys. More than 45,000 people are now part of our incredible community, where members celebrate wins, find help through hard times, hold each other accountable and feel empowered to keep striving to reach the next level.

The Challenge Group combines the science-backed, expert-driven health information our readers have come to expect from with the motivational and supportive energy of a large, engaged community of people who share similar goals and interests. In a time when it's easy to focus on what makes us different, this group embodies what we all need right now: people of all backgrounds raising each other up to be successful.

Strategy and Execution

Each month, hosts a new challenge designed to help our group members improve their fitness, nutrition or other healthy lifestyle habits. We work with registered dietitians, certified personal trainers and other experts to create comprehensive plans to help members get the most out of each challenge. 

For example, we collaborated with the professional trainers at Fhitting Room for our 30-Day Squat Challenge, where members do a certain number of squats each day, gradually increasing until they finally complete 250 squats on the final day.

Throughout the month, experts and team members host Q&As and other live events within the group to help address roadblocks, offer modifications and alternatives, keep everyone motivated and make sure our members are getting the support they need to complete the challenge.

When members have questions or need help modifying a challenge to meet their needs, our team responds with expert-backed information and links to useful articles that will help them reach their goals. Our team not only leads the group through the monthly challenges, but also encourages our members by maintaining a safe space where everyone feels comfortable and welcome to share their experiences. 

Each week, we welcome our newest members with a fun meme or video, and we celebrate our weekly wins together every Friday — whether that’s walking an extra mile, sticking to a nutrition plan, or even just making it through a difficult week.

Throughout each challenge, members cheer each other on, discuss difficulties they’re having, share funny or inspirational memes and just generally have a good time while getting healthier together.

We’ve created an environment where members are a true asset not only to the discourse within the group but also in the planning for future programming. We recently did a mid-year check-in to ask members about what they want to see in January 2021, and they delivered detailed feedback on how we can help them in their journeys to jump-start their New Year right.


The most important part of the Facebook group has very little to do with the actual challenges: The members are what make this group special. Members encourage each other to stay on track or congratulate each other when goals are reached. What started as a community extension of our website is now more than 45,000 members strong. The result is one of the most positive, supportive places on the internet. 

Take, for example, member Kim Kenny: After she joined the group, the community helped her change her negative internal narrative to loving herself and challenging herself to exercise with the group. As a result, she’s lost more than 80 pounds. 

Member Vernelia Kirksey shared her journey to becoming cancer-free and, using the camaraderie of the group to stay motivated, running her first 5k. Member Heidi Hays finally felt comfortable posting a full-body photo on Facebook for the first time. 

The high engagement and hundreds of comments on each thread is a wealth of positivity and encouragement, and shows how our members truly look past their differences and instead recognize that we’re all human and we all deserve to be in good health. In these divided times, we could all use some sort of connection, and the Challenge Group provides that to tens of thousands of people every single day.


Entrant Company / Organization Name


Entry Credits