You will surprise yourself with this experience.
In the beginning you may say: isn’t that a little bit ‘long-winded’? It may seem so, however it isn’t. This is actually the fastest element in the basic three steps towards a better memory. Later on, after you have practiced for a while, it will become second nature; it will be very fast indeed; and above all: It is immensly fun!!!
When is a connection good enough?
This is something that is part of your learning process. Also, have in mind there are degrees. Remember, the crazier the connection the longer it stays in your memory. However: do you really want to keep the shopping list for the rest of your life? Of course not. And here comes the interesting bit: You can train yourself so that the quality of this connection is just right for you. You can train so that the connection stays for an hour (i.e. shopping list) or a week (i.e. present for your partner) or until the exam; so that you can recall all the necessary information without hesitation.
What to do if a connection = association is simply not strong enough?
Give it more oomph. Give it more power.
How to do that?
Make the pictures bigger and brighter.
Make the sounds louder and crisper.
Increase the emotion and really feel that feeling.
Increase the intensity of the colours (See: memory kaleidoscope)
Make the pictures moving. Maybe even like in cartoons. Now here is a piece of home-work: watch Tom & Jerry or Rugrats or Spongebob. They are brilliant. And good fun as well.
A good question how you can test the quality of your association is: Can this happen in real life?
If it could then it is no good, and you HAVE to change it to something that can never happen in real life.
A very good example is the following clip on youtube:
New Müller ad 2011 - wünderful stuff