The 31-year-old enjoyed a successful stint at Manchester United until late in the 2004 season when he began to make mistakes, which he knows were not tolerated at the club.
Howard spent a year on loan with the Toffees before transferring permanently to Goodison Park in 2007, and the American believes that move got him where he is today.
"Going to Everton got me on track, it was my new lease of life," Howard admitted.
"Joining Everton was the starting point and the finishing line was in 2010, and I needed to win that race. So, in my head, I had it mapped. In 2006, I was 27. In 2010, I'd be 31, and from what I hear, that's when a goalkeeper is just coming into his prime.
"At Manchester United, it was, 'Be really careful not to make a mistake because you'll be out of the line-up.' At Everton, they weren't going to give you a pat on the back if you make a mistake, but were going to give the opportunity to correct it.
"My conviction in goal, my belief in what I was doing became a lot stronger."