The Reds are currently 30 points behind league-winners Manchester United and 12 points off fourth place with two games of the season remaining.
But Rodgers feels they are moving in the right direction and expects to be back challenging again soon.
"My focus is to try to close the gap," said Rodgers. "We are bridging that gap slowly this year but hopefully we will take a bigger stride next year.
"But the reality is very simple: we are 30 points behind the leaders and 12 points behind fourth place so we have a lot of work to do here.
"We know it is a long road but we don't like being second-best and being behind. We don't start the season aiming to finish fourth. The aim is always to win the title.
"A club of this status that is the ultimate objective - but you have to be realistic."
Rodgers is also hoping that the change of manager at Manchester United - with David Moyes replacing the retiring Sir Alex Ferguson - will enable his side to bridge the gap.
"It (United) has been a machine which has been working for over 25 years," said the Reds boss. "Sir Alex has really put his identity on the club and that has led to success.
"There is no doubt he (Ferguson) will be a big miss there because he has been there so many years and been part of the furniture, making the club what it is today.
"But (how they react to the change) is up to the rest of the clubs. The spending powers of the teams up there will always make it close.
"I can only think of Liverpool - I've a big enough job here to get us moving on but I think next year we can do that."
While stating that a lot of work has been done to improve the squad at Anfield, Rodgers admits his quest to challenge next season will depend on their success in the transfer market this summer.
"I am very hopeful with what I have seen with the (current squad's) mentality and it is our job in the summer to get the right types of characters to build that winning mentality and turn a lot of our draws into victories which I believe will push us into the top four next year," he added.
"Young players have got an opportunity to play and I've seen development in the players but we are here to win.
"Next year can be a big year for us if we can add the right type of mentalities to the group and make sure we become more consistent next year.
"My biggest aim was to try to improve the consistency of the group but if we are going to make the jump into the next phase we have to improve again."
Meanwhile, Liverpool's friendly against Ajax Cape Town on 21 May has been cancelled after the South African Premier Soccer League ruled it could not be played during their season.