Dortmund had a contrasting domestic and continental campaign so far this season - they topped a tough Champions League group that included the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester City and Ajax to set up a last 16 tie against Shakhtar Donetsk but fell behind in the Bundesliga race and are currently 12 points adrift of Bayern Munich in third place.
With the Bundesliga set to resume action this weekend after the winter break, Schmelzer admitted that they are too fare behind to defend their league title.
"Our aim in the Bundesliga is to get back into second place and to stay there." he told the Bundesliga official website.
"Bayern have a 12-point head start and we've seen how they performed in the first half of the season. And ahead of the restart they've already been reminded of the need to maintain their focus. They'll do all they can to stay at the top.
"Like I said, second place is our priority, if we manage that we'll be satisfied."
Dortmund will travel to Shakhtar Donestk for the first leg of their last-16 tie and Schmelzer is keen to not let their efforts in the competition go to waste.
"In the Champions League Shakhtar Donetsk may not have been our first-choice opponents, but we'll do all we can in both the games to get past them," the left-back said to the official Bundesliga website.
"We've been in good form so far in the tournament and don't want to spoil the good work against Donetsk."