You wake up in a fog and brush your teeth while still half asleep. Dread fills you as you prepare for another soul-crushing day. As you sit in endless traffic, anxiety consumes your thoughts. You worry about that upcoming meeting and anticipate the disappointment on your son's face when you'll arrive late to his ballgame this afternoon. After parking in the last spot, you slog through the rain, barely making it to the front door of your office building. The coffee pot is empty, the last doughnut is already gone, and your desk is a mess once you finally sit down.

Sound familiar? With so much drama and angst, your work product is doomed before you even begin. And then you wonder why your performance is sub-par.

Those who perform at world-class levels understand the power of setting the stage. Before one of his live events, motivational speaker Tony Robbins jumps on a trampoline to get in the zone. Professional musicians have very specific warm up techniques to transport them into a focused mindset. Athletes prepare themselves before important games to perform at their best. So why don't we do the same in our profession?

Instead of the typical morning grind, what if you started each day with a 5-minute ritual to set the stage for greatness? "This is MY day", you say out loud. Reflecting on how today's choices and behavior will enable your long term vision to manifest, you decide that today is going to be one of your best days ever. You commit to show up fully and hold yourself to the highest standards. You opt to make today one of learning and growth, creative expression and impact. You ask yourself how you can make the day memorable and how you can create maximum value. Sixty seconds of deep breathing later, you're off.

In contrast to the typical bleary-eyed routine, you've just set yourself up for a powerhouse day. Instead of sweating the small stuff, you forge ahead and bring your best work forward. The momentum continues throughout the day, and the results you seek seem to magically unfold.

Your morning ritual - especially those first five minutes - sets the trajectory for your entire day so spend that time wisely. More powerful than your bowl of Wheaties, lock in a mindset of high achievement first thing and your success will soon follow.

If you want to perform at your absolute best, set the stage early. Those first five minutes create the tone, direction, and ultimately results of the day ahead. Program them right, and the possibilities are nearly limitless. Five minutes at a time.

Published on: Nov 22, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.