Ian RuderWhen our staff was thinking about themes for this year’s consumer guide, two ideas kept finding their way back into the discussion: reinventing yourself and getting out of a rut. The two seemed to go hand-in-hand and are a perfect fit for our final issue of 2020.

After a year that has often felt like a never-ending rut, we’re all ready to dig our way back to some sense of normalcy. It turns out that nine months of off-and-on quarantines, political unrest and natural disasters can wear you down. Who knew?

It’s funny to think back on the early days of the pandemic when lots of people — myself included — tried to find a silver lining in the increased time for self-improvement. Little could we have known that between balancing personal care, mental health and all the unpredictable necessities of day-to-day life, finding time for anything but survival would feel like an accomplishment.

Nine months later, I have cleaned every cabinet and every corner of my home, cooked all the recipes that had been gathering dust in the “try some day” file and gone through more kitschy Zoom backgrounds than anyone should in a lifetime. And that’s not even touching on how much I would love to go to a live concert or get together with all my friends. Hell, I’d give anything to watch a cheesy summer movie in a packed theater.

Every new year promises a clean slate, but on the heels of what we’ve been through, 2021 feels especially opportune for fresh starts. Until a vaccine arrives, our hands are somewhat tied. But if you feel like you’re finally ready for something new after nine months of monotony, we’ve got you covered.

To inspire you and to personalize our consumer guide, we broke down our annual pro