Walters scored his first-ever Premier League goal for Stoke in Saturday's 1-0 win over former club Blackburn.
The 27-year-old began his career at Rovers before switching to Bolton as a teenager, where he made four top flight appearances under Sam Allardyce before moving on to Hull.
The 10-club frontman has since had to work his way back to the top flight through the lower leagues and he is determined to make the most of his second chance.
And Walters, who switched to the Potters from Ipswich in a £2.75m move in the summer, believes an older head should definitely help this time around.
He told The Sun: "As a youngster, I thought I'd arrived when I was at those sort of clubs. But you don't know what a chance you've been given until you lose it.
"At that age I didn't look after myself properly. I was going out too much, you know what it's like when you're younger!
"Sam didn't pull me up about it - when you're a young lad at a club no one really knows what you're doing!
"Now I'm the complete opposite, I'm a bore and I stay in all the time. I look after myself properly on and off the pitch now - I do things right and I'm reaping the benefits.
"I changed when I started a family. The whole shift moved from being selfish, to doing everything for my kids and my wife. That's my outlook now.
"An exciting night now is a visit to the cinema.
"It's funny how it works out scoring against Blackburn, but I've worked my way back up the leagues and so it was a nice game to get the goal. And there's a mental toughness you get from playing in the lower leagues."
Walters admits he was perhaps too hasty in deciding to quit Bolton for a permanent move to Hull in 2004.
He added: "I can understand why Sam let me go.
"There were a lot of players ahead of me and Bolton needed experienced players then. I ended up going to Hull but maybe I should have stayed at Bolton a bit longer.
"It's taken a lot of hard work to get back to where I am, but that work certainly doesn't stop now that I'm with Stoke."
Stoke boss Tony Pulis hailed Walters' attitude since his return to the top flight.
Pulis said: "Since he walked through the door he's been an absolute dream to work with.
"There are players out there who can step up a level and Jon's proved that."