This is a more concrete and easier to grasp goal because it acknowledges progress by competing against other players to gauge your level. I have a similar goal, to progress from 3.0 to 4.0 in 12 months. To assess my progress, I am going to sign up to a local 3.5 tourney this January (my sixth month); a 50% win/loss result should make me a legit 3.5 (at least in my area). If there aren't any tourneys, then maybe play matches against 3.5 players with minor bets (to make it competitive enough). 10 matches should do the trick. I'll do the same on my 12th month to assess how much of the goal I've achieved: 25% win (acceptable), 50% (mission accomplished!), 75% (I should strive for 4.5). Again like what pvaudio has said, this is a more meaningful and, to me, a more concrete way of redefining how you assess your accomplishment.