The Meaning of Kalo Mina – “Have A Good Month” in Greek

On the first day of every month, my mom texts me: Kalo Mina (Καλό μήνα).  It doesn’t matter if we talked on the phone the day before or haven’t texted in over a week, I get that text… followed by an emoji or two (or ten).

What does Kalo Mina mean? 

Kalo Mina (pronounced kal-OH MEE-na) translates literally to “good month.” Kalo means good, and mina means month.

In Greece, it’s used on the first day — and the first day only!– of a new month to say  “have a good month.” 

I think of it as somewhat similar to how we say “Happy New Year!” in January. But instead of an annual greeting that can be used for two weeks (max!), Kalo Mina is an opportunity to wish others good things twelve different times throughout the year. Nice, right?

How Kalo Mina changed the way I look at time 

Beyond adoring this phrase for giving me a sweet monthly mother-daughter ritual, I also appreciate Kalo Mina for how it’s helped me break up time.

These two little words have helped me feel less pressure to do something big each year–and instead, take smaller steps every month. Every time I turn the calendar page and say Kalo Mina, it triggers my brain that we’ve entered a new month… a new opportunity to begin… again.

While this may sound a little cheesy, I think looking at each month as a fresh start can be a transformative way to live. It is for me at least. It adds a sense of accountability yet ease. If I’m having a bad month, it helps me recharge and reset before a mini rut becomes a painful pattern. And it’s a monthly reminder to keep going, start again, and ruminate less on the past. Or at least try to!

Now, when my mom texts me Kalo Mina, it forces me to pause and consider how things are going: Am I OK? Feeling better or worse than this time 30ish days ago?  What do I want to do more of… or less of? How’s that lingering project going? Nail biting a lot? Still? Yes? No? Sorta? 

Often, this all looks like a quick conversation in my head. Sometimes I’ll jot down a few thoughts in my journal. Either way, giving myself a moment every month to take a step back and check in with myself anchors my life. It helps me get a little closer to the question: how am I?

If any of this resonates with you, I hope this phrase helps ground your life as it has helped mine. So, no matter what you did (or didn’t do), remember that a new month is less than 30 days away. 🤍

Read more: How to pronounce Greek words: Spanakopita, Gyro & More

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